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Scottish Energy Study Volume 5: Energy and Carbon Dioxide Projections for Scotland


7. Key Observations from the projections to 2020

Baseline Scenario Projections

The following results and trends from the baseline CC and HC scenario projections for energy and energy related CO 2 emissions are particularly noteworthy (see also Table 25):

  • Scottish final energy demand falls by 4% and 7% between 2005 and 2020 with the large fall occurring with the HC scenario.
  • The fall in demand occurs in the domestic (down 32%-35%) and services (down 9%) with demand increasing in industry and transport.
  • Transport overtakes domestic to become the largest demand sector by 2010.
  • Demand for electricity stays fairly level over the period to 2020.
  • Scottish primary energy consumption falls by between 8% -10% between 2005 and 2020.
  • Nuclear's share of primary energy declines with the possible closure of Hunterston B after 2016. This is replaced mainly by renewable energy which grows substantially (~250%), mainly in electricity generation, and by 2020 accounts for about 15% of primary energy supply.
  • Oil accounts for 29% of Scottish primary energy in 2002 but increases to 32% -34% in 2020, driven by growing demand from road and air transport.
  • Scottish energy related CO 2 emissions are projected to decline by between 7 and 9% from 2005 to 2011, and by between 13% and 18% between 2005 and 2020. Compared with the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory ( NAEI) inventory for 1990 76 emissions are projected to fall by between 18% and 30% by 2020.
  • Electricity is responsible for 34% of Scottish energy related CO 2 in 2002 and is projected to fall to 21%-28% in 2020. Emissions from electricity generation are highly sensitive to decisions on future fossil fuel generation, and in particular coal fired generation capacity.

Sensitivity Analysis

The sensitivity analysis explored the impact on energy related CO 2 emissions of variations and uncertainties specific to Scotland in the baseline projections:

  • Scotland's CO 2 emissions are particularly sensitive to the mix of fuels used for power generation. The higher and lower levels of fossil fuel generation investigated in this sensitivity analysis could change Scotland's overall CO 2 emissions by +17% to -11% by 2020. Furthermore, power stations in Scotland operate in the UK market and therefore their operation will be determined at the UK level, i.e. decisions around generation will sometimes need to be taken in the context of that UK market
  • If Scotland's rates of economic growth and population growth follow the lower historic trend, rather than the Scottish Government's targets, CO 2 emissions will be about 2% lower in 2020 compared to the baseline.
  • Higher or lower rates of growth in air travel could alter CO 2 emissions by about +/-1% by 2020.
  • Increased car ownership to the average for the UK could increase CO 2 emissions by about 1.5% by 2020 compared to the baseline.
  • A realistic expansion of renewable heat supply to 10% of demand could reduce CO 2 emissions by about 1.6% by 2020.

Table 25 Summary of key results


Change in Final Energy Demand 2005-2020 (%)

Change in CO 2 emissions 2005-2020 (%)

CC Scenario



HC Scenario



CC Scenario Sensitivity - High 77



CC Scenario Sensitivity - Low 78



Energy Prices

Fuel price differences within the range covered by the CC and HC scenarios have a modest impact on total energy demand, but have a more significant influence on the mix of fuels to be used. For example, by 2020 total primary energy demand was 2.5% higher in the HC scenario mainly due to increased electricity generation from coal. This resulted in CO 2 emissions being 6% higher in the higher fuel price scenario.