Heat networks target 2035 consultation: SG response

Government response to our consultation on the 2035 target for the amount of heat to be supplied by heat networks.

Executive Summary and Context

Scottish Ministers must in terms of Section 92 of the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act, 2021 ("the 2021 Act"), by 1 October 2023, lay a draft of a Scottish Statutory Instrument containing regulations specifying a 2035 target relating to the combined supply of thermal energy by heat networks in Scotland.

The 2021 Act sets targets for the combined supply of thermal energy by heat networks, requiring this to reach 2.6 Terawatt hours (TWh) of output by 2027, and 6 TWh of output by 2030. These figures equate to approximately 3% and 8% of current non-electrical heat consumption respectively.

Consulting on a 2035 target was one of the actions set out in the Heat Networks Delivery Plan[1], which sits in the context of wider heat decarbonisation policy, in particular, the Heat in Buildings Strategy[2].

This document presents the key themes[3] to emerge from the Scottish Government's consultation[4] for the proposed target relating to the combined supply of thermal energy through heat networks in Scotland in 2035. It also provides our response to the issues raised.

Our next steps, having taken account of the responses, and given the general support for the proposed target, are to set the target so that the combined supply of thermal energy by heat networks in Scotland reaches at least 7 TWh by 2035". This will be laid in Parliament by the 1 October 2023, in line with the 2021 Act.

As there isn't full agreement from stakeholders on the level of target, and given the limited data currently available to us, the onward intention is to review the heat network target once better information is available, such as heat network zoning.

It should also be noted that the target is a national target and national targets don't necessarily translate directly to a percentage target for each local authority. Some local authorities may find that the opportunity for heat and/or cooling delivered by heat networks is well above the percentage equivalence for each of the national heat network targets.


Email: Heatnetworks@gov.scot

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