How energy is used in Scotland

Energy use in Scotland and future trends

Energy use in Scotland is changing. In October 2009 the Scottish Government published its Consultation on the Energy Efficiency Action Plan for Scotland which highlighted a number of key trends in energy usage

  • There are conflicting trends in household energy use. An ageing population, increasing numbers of households, increased single-person living, and growing demand for electrical appliances result in increases in demand, while improvements in housing stock reduce it.
  • Overall electricity consumption in Scotland is relatively static, reflecting recent improvements in energy efficiency. However, transport use is rising, in particular vehicle kilometres travelled and diesel consumption in road transport.
  • There has been an overall reduction in emissions since 1990, but much more needs to be done to meet the Climate Change (Scotland) Act targets.
  • Data on energy trends in Scotland is patchy. Currently the most up-to-date way to estimate energy trends is to use disaggregated UK data.

Based on UK regional data for Scotland, the latest estimates report that in 2006 Scottish final energy consumption was 172.8 TWh (terawatt-hour). This equated to 8.5% of UK consumption in 2006, a level approximately proportional to Scotland's share of the UK population.

We currently use energy to heat and light homes, to run businesses and public services, to power appliances and cooling systems, and to transport goods and people.

The share of final energy consumption in Scotland is split into the three main consuming sectors.

Scottish Final Energy Consumption (%) by Demand Sector 2006

  • Industrial and commercial 47%
  • Domestic 29%
  • Transport 24%
how energy scotland 1

How fuel is used in Scotland varies tremendously between the domestic and commercial/industrial sectors

how energy scotland 2

Latest figures collected in 2007 show that there were 48.2 TWh of electricity generated in Scotland in 2007. The equivalent of 7.4 TWh, or 15%, was exported to the rest of the UK.

In recent years the levels of gross electricity consumption across Scotland have remained fairly static.

Furthermore, between 1990 and 2007 there has been an almost 12% reduction in emissions from energy use but there is still a considerable way to go if we are to achieve our interim target of 43% by 2020.

So while energy efficiency in Scotland is improving, this is clearly being outstripped by our consumption in key sectors, as well as across the world.
Energy efficiency has an impact upon many areas beyond simple energy supply and consumption, and there are significant opportunities, at low cost, to improve the efficiency of our energy use across business and society.

Action is needed now to facilitate the changes required to improve energy efficiency, and we need to ensure that these measures are treated with the appropriate urgency.


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