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Scottish Energy Study Volume 4: Issues, Opportunities and Barriers

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3 SWOT Analysis

In order to summarise the analysis, a SWOT table has been drawn up for each sector, based on; discussions with groups across the country; existing reports and publications; past experience, and previous information collected by AEA.

A SWOT analysis helps support decision making if use of the technique is fully understood and used accordingly.

Central to use of a SWOT is the definition of the objective to be accomplished. Without this it is hard to judge if a specific influence is helpful or harmful. Hence the objective is in each defined at the top of each SWOT, for example "Scottish Government strategy to reduce the energy and CO 2 emissions from the Domestic Sector in Scotland".

Hence the definitions for the 4 factors in the SWOT analysis are:

  • Strengths: attributes of the organisation that are helpful to achieving the objective.
  • Weaknesses: attributes of the organisation that are harmful to achieving the objective.
  • Opportunities: external conditions which are helpful to achieving the objective.
  • Threats: external conditions that could do damage to the business's performance.

This is illustrated below:

table graphic

There are limitations to the use of SWOT analysis and hence some pitfalls to avoid:

  • The individual strengths, weaknesses etc. are not assessed for their degree of impact, i.e. some Weaknesses may be more important than some Strengths.
  • The fact that a SWOT may have a smaller number of Weaknesses than Strengths does not carry any significance.

3.1.1 Domestic Sector SWOT

OBJECTIVE

Scottish Government strategy to reduce the energy and CO 2 emissions from the Domestic Sector in Scotland.

Figure 32 - Domestic Sector SWOT

Figure 32 - Domestic Sector SWOT

The domestic sector SWOT shows a number of generic as well as sector specific factors. Generic factors include limits on funding and the influence of higher energy prices. These and other generic factors will feature in the other sector SWOT tables. Specific factors include the Strength of the ESSAC network as a route to influence householders and the Opportunity to draw on CERT funding.

This SWOT shows a large number of Threats - this reflects the many factors that influence householders behaviour and that most of these are external factors.

3.1.2 Transport Sector SWOT

OBJECTIVE

Scottish Government strategy to reduce the energy and CO 2 emissions from the Transport Sector in Scotland.

Figure 33 - Transport Sector SWOT

Figure 33 - Transport Sector SWOT

The transport sector SWOT also shows a number of generic as well as sector specific factors. Specific factors include the tension between building infrastructure to each traffic congestion, compared to the need to encourage mode shift to public transport.

3.1.3 Industry Sector SWOT

OBJECTIVE

Scottish Government strategy to reduce the energy and CO 2 emissions from the Industry Sector in Scotland.

Figure 34 - Industry Sector SWOT

Figure 34 - Industry Sector SWOT

The industry sector SWOT also shows a number of generic as well as sector specific factors. Specific industry factors include positive effect that closure of businesses will have on energy and CO 2, however this would have significant negative economic consequences. Hence economic development initiatives must support reducing energy costs and vice versa.

3.1.4 Service Sector SWOT

OBJECTIVE

Scottish Government strategy to reduce the energy and CO 2 emissions from the Service Sector in Scotland.

Figure 35 - Service Sector SWOT

Figure 35 - Service Sector SWOT

The services sector SWOT also shows a number of generic as well as sector specific factors. The services sector SWOT has more strengths and weaknesses - due to the internal factors in the public sector.

3.1.5 Conclusions on the SWOT Analysis

A number of general points are evident from the SWOT analysis:

  • The majority of factors are external and hence are represented as Opportunities or Threats. In developing strategies and action plans this means that the Scottish Government needs to have a good understanding of these external Opportunities and the Threats to ensure success. This requires an excellent network of contacts and data to provide qualitative and quantified understanding of these factors.
  • There are limited weaknesses. This is partly a reflection of the fact a number of powers are reserved or the key actors are European or Global. Hence many issues that would otherwise be classified as Weaknesses appear as Threats.
  • Energy use is influenced by the world economy, the performance of the Scottish economy and a wide range of EU and UK policy initiatives. Hence the direct influence that the Scottish Government can bring to bear will in some cases be limited. Thus Scottish Government initiatives that build on these external factors will be important. In particular the Scottish Government will need to address issues, opportunities or barriers that are important in Scotland but that are not part of the wider EU or UK initiatives.
  • Many of the Opportunities are sector specific. Hence the actions for the Scottish Government to take to realise these should be tailored to the needs of the sector.

Developing this theme, two examples are provided below, showing how the Scottish Government could increase its influence by working with a network of other organisations.

  • In the Domestic sector it is essential to inform the supply chain of all relevant, available, support mechanisms, for example support for energy efficient condensing boilers and support for insulation measures. If trade and the supply chain are fully aware of these support mechanisms this will not only help increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures, so reducing demand in the sector, but also has potential to aid the Scottish economy. It is therefore essential to keep trade and the supply chain informed of the latest changes to, and developments in, support mechanisms. Moreover, to allow for trade to keep clients informed of the latest support opportunities, relevant industry bodies should be informed of any imminent Advertising campaigns. This will allow the members of these bodies to keep their clients suitably informed of any developments.
  • In the Transport sector, again reducing demand is essential. Eco driving is one important way to help achieve this. Another key quantified method for reducing demand is through enforcing speed limits. Speeding (and the often associated harsh driving techniques) not only increases fuel consumption but also emissions. If speed limits were strictly enforced this would bring a reduction in demand and a reduction in emissions. This could be implemented in the following fashion. If ESSACs are running an eco driving campaign, this could be run in parallel with an anti speeding campaign. This will be more effective than running the two campaigns separately. This would require coordinated action between police forces in Scotland, the ESSACs and the Scottish Government - this partnership approach is a practical way to link related policy objectives and could use Community Planning bodies to bring the key parties together.