That’s the verdict from the Scottish Government’s Electricity and Gas Networks Vision Statement, which outlines how the nation’s energy systems must be developed as new technologies come onto the grid and the journey towards decarbonisation continues.
It outlines how greater collaboration and innovation are needed to help reduce fuel poverty and maintain affordable supplies of energy as gas and power systems evolve.
It urges significant investment into new transmission infrastructure will be needed to give investors confidence that they will continue to have access to UK and European markets, as well as link remote islands and help connect the new renewable capacity needed to meet 2030 clean power goals.
The new report also notes transmission connections to England, Wales and the rest of Europe will become increasingly important in order to offer flexibility, which is required to balance intermittent renewable generation.
It states that a stable and reliable supply of power is essential as Scotland’s energy system shifts from relying largely on big, centralised power plants to a more distributed and fragmented network.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Our electricity and gas networks are instrumental in delivering an essential service to consumers and businesses as well as access to affordable, reliable and increasingly decarbonised energy.
“This vision takes the same whole system view as Scotland’s Energy Strategy and highlights the range of complex challenges that need to be met and the opportunities that exist.”