Scottish government urged to boost district heating

17th Jun 2016

Industry groups, academics and politicians are urging the Scottish government to encourage investment in district heating.

District heating uses large centralised boilers to produce heat for a district through a network of pipes. Whilst not overly common in the UK they are popular in other European countries such as Norway and Denmark. In fact approximately 60% of households in Denmark are heated by district heating. The transition to district heating in Denmark rose from the oil crisis they faced in the 1970’s and it has led to a huge reduction in the country’s dependence on external energy sources.

This wouldn’t be the first time district heating is utilised in Scotland. There was a project to power two tower blocks with district heating in Edinburgh, however the Herald Scotland explained that this ran into difficulties ‘after it soared over budget and difficulties left the council unable to bill tenants for over a year’.

Mark Ruskell, a Scottish Green energy spokesman, was quoted by the BBC explaining why the scheme would be beneficial for Scotland:

“We must take the opportunity of a Warm Homes Bill to deliver affordable, renewable heat for homes and workplaces.”

“District heating systems are commonplace in other European countries, and Scottish ministers would do well to target capital investment at such schemes.”

“Scotland needs to catch up quickly if we’re to meet our ambitions for a low-carbon society, tackle fuel poverty and create high quality jobs.”