Scotland must tap into renewable heat to achieve 2020 targets

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 16 Apr 2015 11:37
Low Carbon Heat Conference will be held in Perth on April 28
Low Carbon Heat Conference will be held in Perth on April 28

Scotland must kick its addiction to conventional gas-fired boilers and embrace renewable heat if it is to hit challenging 2020 targets, a major conference will hear this month.

Progress in the sector so far has been slow, with just 3% of heat coming from renewable sources against a target of 11% – which must be achieved in just over 2,000 days.

Scottish Renewable’s first Low Carbon Heat Conference will be held in Perth on April 28.

Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at the business organisation, told how a major change of mindset was needed to hit the target.

She said: “More than half of the energy consumed in Scotland is in the form of heat. As a society, we take warm homes and workplaces and constant hot water for granted, but the time is now right for us to re-think our relationship with heat and the way it is generated, transported and used.

“We have a chance of reaching what is a very ambitious 2020 target, but we have to act now. If we can do it, consumers and businesses will be insulated from the price fluctuations and uncertainty of supply associated with gas. We can also create hundreds of jobs and help thousands of families out of fuel poverty by using more sustainable forms of warmth like wood, solar and heat pumps.”

Scotland’s commitment to heat will be one of the key topics on the table at the Low Carbon Heat Conference, with the opening session asking “Is Scotland serious about Heat?”

Miss Clark added: “Most of our homes, businesses and public buildings are warmed by conventional gas boilers, and we must kick that addiction. District heating, for example, is a great way for hundreds of homes to share one heat source, but we have yet to see a consensus on its importance in Scotland.”

The conference will examine how European lessons can help effect change in Scotland. There will also be a session on the Renewable Heat Incentive, the mechanism through which technologies are supported, and an analysis of how the scheme is performing and whether it provides sufficient incentives to increase uptake and develop the supply chain. Kate Read, Policy Manager at energy regulator Ofgem, will speak during this session.

Delegates will also hear from Scottish Renewables Board Member Stuart Reid, who works for Fort William biomass heating business HWEnergy, as well as Scottish Renewables’ Director of Policy Jenny Hogan.

The day will end with an Innovation Showcase, where Star Renewable Energy Director and heat pump expert Dave Pearson will guide delegates through a mix of technologies needed to meet our renewable heat target. Cate Lyon, Analyst at Delta-ee will also talk specifically about the role of micro-CHP (Combined Heat and Power) in Scotland.

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