Powering Our Ambitions: The role of Scotland's National Energy Company and the case for a Scottish Energy Development Agency

Keith Baker, Gordon Morgan, Ron Mould, Iain Wright

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


On 10 October 2017, the First Minister, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, confirmed the Scottish Government’s intention to establish a publiclyowned not-for-profit energy company by the end of the current Parliament.

Common Weal has previously proposed a public energy company so welcomed this announcement and is of the view that, if established in a way that best meets the needs of Scottish householders and communities, the publicly-owned National Energy Company (NEC) has the potential to leverage many significant
direct and indirect benefits from:
¿ the development and deployment of new renewable and low carbon energy supplies (and associated supply chains and skilled employment opportunities)
¿ assisting meeting the national emissions reduction targets
¿ helping tackle fuel poverty and social inequality.

However, establishing a new energy company in such a short period of time will require a clear vision of the future roles it will play, which need to be set against the Scottish Government’s ambitions for both the NEC and its wider policies to support Scottish communities and manage its built and natural environments.

In our submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation on this subject we set out one vision for the NEC’s roles. After considering submissions from other bodies we have modified our proposal, to reflect concerns that our proposals did not fully reflect the constraints on Scottish Government by UK Government energy policy and EU state aid rules.

This policy paper sets out Common Weal’s vision for how the NEC should be established, operate, and develop over time, and how a separate Scottish Energy Development Agency can help progress the Scottish Government’s ambitions
and societal needs.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCommon Weal
Commissioning bodyScottish Government
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • energy policy
  • Scotland
  • public energy company
  • Scottish independence


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