Scottish district heating plan to reduce carbon emissions and create jobs

The Scottish Government has today launched its District Heating Action Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills while giving a boost to businesses and creating jobs

District heating is the supply of heat by hot water to a number of buildings through a heat network of underground pipes.

The plan sets how the Government will work with partners to deliver the investment needed to secure a sustainable and affordable heat supply.

Under the plan, the creation of a Heat Network Partnership will secure investment from the Green Investment Bank Renewable Energy Investment Fund and identify funding opportunities from European and UK sources, such as the European Regional Development Fund.

The plan also includes a call for evidence on the investment needed in heat networks over the next few years in order to address the barriers to creating large-scale integrated heat networks, with the capacity to expand in the future.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “District heating is an important means of achieving both carbon emission and fuel poverty targets as well as contributing to the development of a low-carbon economy and local economic regeneration.

“As we continue to move forward with our action plan the long term benefits and opportunities are plentiful. Jobs creation in the sector, inward investment from district heating manufacturers and the opportunities for existing businesses to be involved in the supply chain will all provide a welcome stimulus to local economies across Scotland.

“Working with our partners, district heating will help to deliver our overall vision of a largely decarbonised heat sector by 2050, with significant progress by 2030. The switch to district heating is already helping take thousands of households in places like Glasgow and Aberdeen out of fuel poverty.”

WWF Scotland head of policy Dr Sam Gardner welcomed the launch, pointing out that heating offices and households account for almost half of Scotland’s climate change emissions.

“However, if we are to match the ambition of countries such as Denmark, where more than half of all homes are connected to district heating, all the recommendations from the expert commission need to be fully adopted, “he added.

“We call on Ministers to build on this plan and set a high ambition for district heating, so we can all enjoy the benefits of lower energy bills, new jobs and reduced climate emissions.”

Conor McGlone

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