Bold steps required to develop citywide district heat networks in Scotland

By District Energy posted 09-16-2020 15:51


Scottish Construction Now


In Scotland we have just over 24 years to reach a 2045 target of net zero emissions. The work will need to engage every individual in our society, and requires the means to invest in affordable solutions, delivered over multiple political cycles. The challenge is huge.

There is overwhelming recognition of the impact of climate change and the need to take bold steps. We are not lacking technological options, but the greater problem is the competing visions for net zero energy system solutions. We cannot focus on heat, electricity or transport decarbonisation strategies in isolation from each other.

Rather than placing the burden on individual consumers to make decisions about energy efficiency, there are opportunities to leverage the purchasing power of multiple individual consumers to buy their heat pumps as a cooperative. Most notably, district heating networks can allow sharing of infrastructure costs to purchase a single, large low-carbon technology and use of renewable and waste heat sources that often go unused across the country.

However, enabling the delivery of the most affordable low carbon solutions requires strategic vision delivered by tactical interventions, as outlined in the Scottish Government’s Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies. How can we kickstart this decarbonisation roadmap?

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