Powering Change in the South of Scotland

Join over 17,000 subscribers and receive the region's top stories in your inbox every Saturday afternoon for FREE

Don’t worry we won’t fill your inbox up or ever share your email address with anyone. GDPR Compliant

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) is calling on local businesses and organisations to take action to ensure the region maximises future energy opportunities – which could lead to the creation of hundreds of green jobs.

‘Powering Change – calling the South of Scotland to action’, is the result of six months of extensive work by the SOSE-established Energy Transition Group, which brought together a diverse range of partners and expertise across the public, private, education and third sectors.

During this time, the group gathered key themes and a series of future actions which it sees as crucial to ensuring the region benefits economically and socially from Scotland’s move to net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

The call to action sets a clear vision for 2045, with SOSE asking all organisations to work with them to turn the plan into a reality and ensure the region takes up the opportunity to lead the way on this vital issue.

To drive forward the Powering Change vision, SOSE will also be creating a specific new Energy Transition and Green Enterprise Director post.

Key themes and key actions include:

  • Leadership and alignment – working together to take the action required, maximising the opportunities offered to the South of Scotland that come from the investment in the Borderlands Energy Masterplan
  • Decarbonising heat and travel together – looking at future energy requirements as a whole and taking forward geographic pilot projects to model future demand and grid capacity enhancement in key locations in the South of Scotland
  • Transmission and distribution – recognising what increased demand for green energy will mean and exploring planning and regulation processes to streamline grid upgrades
  • Green jobs and supply chains – ensuring local businesses are aware of the scale of opportunity and able to respond to those opportunities, creating local wealth
  • Education and skills – getting people ready now to responding to the skills needs that a career in the industry will require
  • Communities – championing the opportunities across communities so they can make the decisions required to help them benefit from affordable green power

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of SOSE said:

“We are here to make things happen in the South of Scotland – we are bold, ambitious and want to be a power for change.
“Through our work with partners on this masterplan, we are defining the clear and immediate actions required if our region is to become carbon negative by 2045.
“Without energy, much of what we take for granted in our daily lives wouldn’t be possible. If we want to retain that, we need to balance our demands with protecting the environment in which we live as well.
“All of us are responsible for making significant changes required to meet climate change targets and decarbonise heat and travel.
“We need to continue to work together on this agreed vision and unlock the opportunities for our region, contributing to our future sustainable success and well-being.”

Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive of SOSE, added:

“The Powering Change masterplan, and our imminent recruitment of a dedicated Energy Transition and Green Enterprise Director, demonstrates our commitment to the energy transition and carbon zero journey in the South of Scotland.
“I must thank the work of the Energy Transition Group for helping to pull together the findings and actions for this important document, which is focussed on the specific circumstances facing our region and the opportunities we need to capitalise on to reach our 2045 vision.”

SOSE Board member Jeremy Sainsbury OBE, who is Chair of the Energy Transition Group added:

My personal thanks to all participants in the Energy Transition Group who bought their experience and open minds to this process.
“Change is coming and we need to plan for it. This report shows how acting together the South of Scotland can take control of the change to create growth in jobs, wealth and wellbeing.
“We are getting on the front foot and structuring change to suite our core industries, while delivering a just transition to our communities and workforce.
“Rural areas are different from cities and need a different approach. We are leading that thinking to make sure our region and economy does not get left behind, but thrives and grows.”

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said:

“The South of Scotland is an energy rich region of Scotland. The Powering Change report is a welcome contribution to informing Scotland’s energy future and supports the delivery of Scotland’s Energy Strategy. This new report also complements and reflects the Scottish Government’s ambitions for a Just Transition to net zero emissions by 2045 in a manner that supports sustainable economic growth and jobs across Scotland. 
“We welcome the ambitious and coordinated approach to the issues explored by the Energy Transition Group and we look forward to working further with South of Scotland Enterprise as the actions for delivering this exciting vision are developed.”

To view the document visit www.southofscotlandenterprise.com/poweringchange

The Powering Change call to action document provides an overview of activity, and is a framework for more detailed work to be agreed and driven forward by partners.

Participants of the Energy Transition Group include:

  • South of Scotland Enterprise
  • Scottish Government
  • Borders College
  • Dumfries and Galloway College
  • National Grid
  • Skills Development Scotland
  • Nature Scot
  • Local Energy Scotland
  • SP Energy Networks
  • Energy Systems Catapult
  • Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • Scottish Borders Council