Heat Networks Delivery Plan: review report 2024

The Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021 requires that the Heat Networks Delivery Plan (HNDP) is reviewed every two years, and that Scottish Ministers prepare a report of our progress towards meeting the provisions of the Act and other supporting policies. This report fulfils the requirement to review and report on the HNDP.

Ministerial Foreword

Scotland’s pathway to becoming a net-zero country by 2045 will mean moving away from polluting heating systems to clean heating systems. Heat networks are one of these clean heating systems and they will become a significant part of this transition.

We recognised the need for a credible plan to enable heat networks to flourish and, in March 2022, we published the first Heat Networks Delivery Plan. The Plan outlined the steps that the Scottish Government would take to accelerate the development of heat networks across Scotland.

Since its publication we have made good progress and have now completed the first review of the Heat Networks Delivery Plan - this Review Report - setting out our progress towards meeting the actions set out in the 2022 Delivery Plan.

We have set a new statutory heat networks target of 7 Terrawatt hours by 2035, signalling to the developing heat networks sector that this – and future – governments of Scotland are committed to its growth and providing greater confidence and certainty for those looking to invest in these schemes.

Growing the heat network sector to meet our targets is challenging and we understand the importance of providing support in these early years. Since launching Scotland’s Heat Network Fund in 2022, over £10 million of grant funding has been awarded. This builds on the momentum created by its predecessor, the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, with the total value of the current project pipeline across these two funds being over £65 million.

In Autumn 2022, we established the Heat Network Support Unit, which supports the growth of heat networks by addressing key challenges in the pre-capital stages of heat network development and building capacity across the public sector to deliver successful projects.

Local authorities are making good progress with their Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES). These strategies are starting to set out the potential for heat networks across the country. The Scottish Government continues to support local authorities in this work, providing £2.4 million per annum until 2027/28.

We are working to align our delivery programmes with the emerging LHEES Delivery Plans. For example, our Heat Network Support Unit is working with local authorities to take the indicative heat network zones identified through LHEES and develop them into projects through feasibility and business case support.

A consumer protection framework is vital if we are to grow the heat network sector in Scotland and working collaboratively with the UK Government, Ofgem have been appointed as both the regulator for the GB wide heat network consumer protection regime and the heat network licencing authority for Scotland.

The first review of progress highlights the progress that has been made as we transition to clean, more affordable heating. But, as this Review Report shows, we have not yet met our first statutory target so do not underestimate the size of the challenge. This document reiterates our commitment to achieving a transition, where heat networks will become a key sector in heating our homes and buildings, and the actions we are taking to ensure this.

Patrick Harvie


Email: heatnetworks@gov.scot

Back to top