Having access to warm, comfortable places to live and work is essential to our nation’s health and wellbeing, and is a fundamental part of driving economic and societal development across our country.
Throughout history we have largely been reliant on burning fossil fuels, in spaces that were built with limited regard to thermal performance, in order to keep warm. Our commitment to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045 simply means that we must move away from this way of heating our buildings.
Alongside this, we have recently seen higher energy bills as a primary driver in the cost of living crisis, pushing more people into fuel poverty. It is essential that we protect households and businesses from future such swings in energy costs, and pursuing a long term shift in the way we heat our buildings is central to achieving that.
Our Heat in Buildings Strategy, published in October 2021, sets an ambitious vision for decarbonising the heat supply of Scotland’s buildings and removing poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty. Building a strong, skilled supply chain that’s capable of delivering at scale in all areas of Scotland is central to the delivery of that Strategy.
I believe that Government has a key role to play in supporting the developmental needs of the supply chain by creating the right conditions through a set of clear market signals, appropriate financial support and using the convening power of government and the wider public sector to remove friction and increase the pace of transformation.
If we invest wisely, we can view the need for supply chain development not only as a challenge which must be met in order to deliver on our ambitions, but as a substantial opportunity for Scotland’s economy. Building robust, local supply chains, maximising the use of Scottish products and providing companies with a platform to export to a growing UK and international market for zero emission heating technologies, can all support a long term return on the economic cost of our heat in buildings transition.
The tangible actions set out in this document are the next step in our journey towards establishing a new industry for green heating in Scotland and I look forward to working with partners across the sector as we work to deliver the ambitions of this plan together.
Patrick Harvie MSP Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights
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