State of the Nation report to focus on Scotland's infrastructure

ICE Scotland launches its State of the Nation Infrastructure 2015 report on Wednesday 4 November.

Queensferry Crossing under construction, Scotland’s largest transport infrastructure project
Queensferry Crossing under construction, Scotland’s largest transport infrastructure project
  • Updated: 30 October, 2015
  • Author: Kelly Forbes, ICE Scotland Policy Manager

Much has changed since the publication of our last State of the Nation: Infrastructure report in 2011. Scottish politics features higher on the UK agenda than ever before. Old and new infrastructure icons have been celebrated – in the case of the Forth Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing, within shouting distance of one another. Public budgets everywhere have tightened and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Challenges ahead

In spite of these and many other changes, preparing our infrastructure for the future is more important than ever. Not least of all electricity generation capacity. Scotland’s energy future faces numerous challenges:

  • Within eight years we will lose 55% of our current generation capacity
  • New nuclear and on-shore gas production are subject to public and political acceptability challenges
  • Renewables face issues of intermittency, high transmission charging, and policy uncertainty
  • A policy environment across the UK which is deterring infrastructure investment

Scotland is part of a single British electricity market, and ICE Scotland will call on the Scottish and UK governments to adopt long-term approaches to electricity generation which plan for future needs, acknowledge decarbonisation challenges, and create a stable environment for infrastructure investment. We will also call for expert technical and scientific advice to be at the forefront of debates regarding controversial energy issues including nuclear, on-shore gas and wind energy.

Improving our networks

This report assesses the performance of Scotland’s economic infrastructure and highlights the actions required to improve our networks and associated services. Evidence from over 60 individuals and organisations has informed the report which has been produced under the leadership of a cross-sector ICE Scotland Steering Group.

Steering Group Chair, Ronnie Hunter, will present the report’s findings at the launch on 4 November, with a response from the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown MSP. A brief question and answer session with the steering group and Cabinet Secretary, chaired by the newly appointed Chair of the ICE Scotland Committee, Malcolm West will follow

The report will be available from 4 November 2015 on the policy pages of our website. For more information on State of the Nation Scotland Infrastructure 2015 please contact the ICE Scotland office.