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Energy issues and forecasts for Scotland

Fraser, Neil and Gloyne, Tony (1982) Energy issues and forecasts for Scotland. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 7 (4). pp. 38-48. ISSN 0306-7866

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The role of energy in the Scottish economy is of crucial importance. As a basic input to industrial production it represents a major cost and indeed the price of energy was the key factor in the recent closure of the Invergordon aluminium smelter. Domestic consumption of various forms of energy are an important item of personal spending, particularly given the harshness of the climate. In addition, the energy industries are a major employer and the capital investments involved are substantial. The ubiquitous nature of 'energy' means that the policy decision influencing the supply and demand of energy will affect practically everybody in the country. This paper examines some of the issues surrounding energy policy within Scotland. The first section provides a background on recent trends in energy supply and demand; the second assesses the principal influences and problems related to energy forecasting. The third section provides indicative forecasts of future outputs in the energy sector given various secnarios, while the final section examines some of the principal energy related issues facing Scotland in the 1980's.