The importance of a Low Carbon Scotland

January 24th 2017

The Alliance recently joined colleagues at the Danish Board of District Heating Camp and Seminar in Edinburgh, which included a Danish delegation consisting of practitioners from large local government owned district heating companies, representatives from the Danish Energy Agency, and representatives from Danish consulting engineers and manufacturers of equipment for district heating installations.

The Alliance recognises the importance of a Low Carbon Scotland and that leadership in this area will contribute substantially to Scotland’s attractiveness as a destination for inward investment. In Scotland we have been focusing heavily on decarbonising the energy we use. The Scottish Government recently published both its draft Climate Change Plan and draft Scottish Energy Strategy for consultation. Scotland has made great progress in reducing carbon from electricity but there has been recognition that work is needed to do the same for heat and transportation. Heat accounts for over 50% of Scotland’s energy demand and is something that we must address if we want to meet our carbon targets.

The Alliance has been working with colleagues from across Europe to support the development of Low Carbon Heat in Scotland. Our Low Carbon Resilient Cities Report highlighted the opportunity that district heating could present for Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh specifically, providing £74.6m in economic output, £27.3 GVA and over 500 new jobs. All 7 cities in Scotland are exploring district heating and to support the cities in developing this work the Alliance has:

  • Supported all 7 cities to participate in the EU funded Stratego programme to support the development of area heating and cooling plans
  • Led projects across the 7 cities to develop a common approach to district heating across their local planning authorities, including mechanisms to encourage developers to consider district heat and developing the skills to support this transition.
  • Supported the 7 cities to become part of the EU Celsius city project in a supporter capacity to learn from other district energy and local carbon heat projects that are being developed.
  • Reviewed opportunities for collaborative purchasing of services and equipment to drive forward savings in the development of district heating

The Alliance presented at the seminar on the work completed to date to support low carbon heat and encouraged colleagues from planning, building standards, energy, developers, and other with an interest in District Heating to engage in the skills development work we are completing with AECOM. This will enable the cities to better understand who should be supporting and leading the development of district heating in Scotland.

In addition to developing skills for those leading on district heating development, work is underway to support the supply chain development. The Global heat market is estimated to grow by £308 billion by 2050 and capacity is being built in Scotland to take advantage of this, through activity such as the Scottish Enterprise led Low Carbon Heat Expert Support Programme.

In February the Alliance will hold an events for the cities with the Celsius City Programme and the C40 group focusing on finding solutions to barriers to low carbon heat and with the focus on Finance and Commercialisation. The Alliance will also present at Scottish Renewables Low Carbon Cities Conference 22nd February under the topic of area energy master planning with a focus on low carbon heat.

Those interested in further information on the Low Carbon Programme should contact:

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