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Scottish Renewables calls for Scottish Government support to heat 460,000 homes through low-carbon networks

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Scottish Renewables calls for Scottish Government support to heat 460,000 homes through low-carbon networks

Research from Scottish Renewables found that emissions from home heating could be cut by 10 per cent with the use of waste and biomass driven heat networks

Up to 460,000 homes could be heated by environmentally friendly district heating networks by 2030 with the right level of government support, a new report has found.

The research, commissioned by industry body Scottish Renewables, found that emissions from home heating could be cut by 10 per cent with the use of waste and biomass driven heat sources.

But campaigners are demanding high levels of support from the Scottish Government to realise the “enormous potential” of these low-carbon heat networks in tackling the climate emergency.

The low-carbon heat networks would provide heat collected from sources such as incinerators, rivers and sewers to buildings through underground pipes.

The report says such home heating models are well established in countries like Denmark, where the capital Copenhagen is entirely heated in this way.

Forty six similar projects in Scotland’s seven cities have been identified in the report.

But Scottish Renewables has warned that with support schemes from the UK and Scottish governments soon coming to an end, that funding needs to be replaced in order to build the networks.

The body says the Scottish Government’s Heat Networks Bill should include measures to encourage investment in the sector.

The bill was announced in September as part of the Programme for Government, but no further details have yet been announced.

Scottish Renewables is also recommending the government produce a ‘heat networks action plan’ to address issues involving planning policy, building regulations and business rates.

Fabrice Leveque, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Heat networks are a mature technology that will allow us to grow our use of renewable heat.

“The Scottish Government’s Heat Networks Bill should be at the heart of an ambitious strategy to stop Scotland from falling behind the rest of the UK in the deployment of this key climate solution.”

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the report’s findings, saying that more regulations, incentives and powers for councils are needed.

The party’s spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “This report shows that industry has an appetite for ambitious, broad policies to decarbonise the way we heat our homes.

“The lack of ambition on this from the Scottish Government is unacceptable. We are in a climate emergency yet four out of five homes in Scotland are still heated by gas, and some by oil and even coal.

“Recent figures show the Scottish Government won’t even meet its own meagre target of 11 per cent renewable heat by next year. While it’s disappointing that Westminster cut the subsidy for green heating, we don’t have time to sit on our hands.

“This report shows there is plenty we could do now with building standards and planning. We need a strong policy framework for warm, affordable and zero-carbon homes, such as we propose in the Scottish Green New Deal.”

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