Devolution of the Crown Estate and Energy Policy in Scotland

McHarg, Aileen (2015) Devolution of the Crown Estate and Energy Policy in Scotland. [Report]

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This policy briefing explains the role of the Crown Estate in energy policy and explores the potential significance of its devolution to Scotland. Energy – and particularly renewable energy – is an important policy area for the Scottish Government, both for its potential contribution to Scotland’s economic development, and for its role in meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate change mitigation targets. Currently, though, the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament control relatively few energy policy levers, with most relevant powers being reserved to the UK Parliament and Government under the Scotland Act 1998.1 However, the Smith Commission, which was established in the wake of the ‘no’ vote in the independence referendum to consider further devolution of powers to Scotland, has recently recommended that there should be some additional devolution of energy policy and related powers to Scotland. 2 Assuming that the recommendations are implemented, one of the most significant of these new powers is control over the Crown Estate in Scotland. 3


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