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Heriot-Watt University’s Chief Scientist Professor John Underhill has been invited to serve on the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s (RSE) Inquiry Committee, looking at Scotland’s Energy Future.

The inquiry aims to contribute to the important debate around Scotland’s energy supply, demand and use, as well as moral and environmental responsibilities.  It will also look to inform the policy- and decision-making at a Scottish, UK and international levels in relation to resources needed at acceptable financial, moral and environmental costs.

As the ways in which we heat our homes, fuel our cars, and power our places of work continue to evolve, important questions arise of what Scotland’s energy needs will be in the coming decades, and how this demand is to be met.

Sir Muir Russel

The committee, which is expected to sit for around eighteen months, will consider how Scotland can meet the future energy demand and how to ensure that the energy used is secure, affordable and environmentally justifiable. It will also examine all areas of the debate around Scotland’s energy future in the context of its commitment to combat global climate change and the environmental imperative to reduce carbon emissions.   

Chair of the Scotland’s Energy Inquiry, Sir Muir Russel KCB DL FRSE, said, “The Royal Society of Edinburgh has decided to initiate this Inquiry, “Scotland’s Energy Future”, at a time when Scotland’s energy landscape is constantly changing.  As the ways in which we heat our homes, fuel our cars, and power our places of work continue to evolve, important questions arise of what Scotland’s energy needs will be in the coming decades, and how this demand is to be met.

"This Inquiry aims to contribute to the debate about Scotland’s energy supply, demand and use, recognising our moral and environmental responsibilities. It is intended to provide a forum in which difficult and contentious issues can be debated, enabling a synthesis of objective advice to policy makers in Scotland and beyond.”

Professor John Underhill FRSE said, “It is an honour to be asked to populate the RSE’s  Scotland’s Energy Future Inquiry. There is no greater challenge than to understand how Scotland addresses its energy needs whilst successfully adapting and transitioning to a low carbon and sustainable future to meet its climate targets whilst maintaining energy supply and I look forward to serving on the committee”