- 30 Nov 2020
Heat pumps will be a strategically vital technology to deliver low carbon heat in buildings as part of the Scottish Government’s statutory target to meet net zero emissions by 2045. Heat pumps have been strongly advocated by the Committee on Climate Change as a “low regret” option for buildings in off-gas rural areas alongside up to 10 million homes on the gas grid in the UK transitioning to heat pumps and hybrid heat pumps by 2035.
In the context of the green economic recovery, it is essential that we transition towards net zero in a way that maximises employment opportunities and value to the Scottish economy. Decarbonised heat is an essential part of the net zero pathway and, whilst we recognise that there is a range of relevant technologies and the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Heat in Buildings Strategy will provide further detail on the breadth of technologies required, heat pumps will play a key role. The deployment of heat pump technologies goes hand in glove with ‘fabric first’ improvements to building energy efficiency and an initial focus in these areas is useful given the scale of deployment challenge and their role in “low-regret” areas.
The challenge of rapidly scaling up heat pump deployment is complex and far reaching with impacts on a range of issues including fuel poverty, consumers, place, skills, supply chain, manufacturing, infrastructure and finance. There is work already ongoing across these areas by industry, researchers and governments. However, given the breadth of these challenges, the Scottish Government has brought together a group of experts to provide recommendations on the potential scope and content of a heat pump sector deal.
Remit of Group
The group will provide a series of recommendations to Scottish Ministers on the potential scope of a Heat Pump Sector Deal. These recommendations will be focused on sector-specific issues, creating opportunities to boost deployment, employment, innovation and skills. The group will consider challenges across all forms of heat pump technology, including large scale heat pumps and district heating. Recommendations will consider:
- actions that Scottish Ministers can take to support the heat pump sector within their devolved competency
- complementary actions that the heat pump industry and wider stakeholders should take forward with the support of the Scottish Government
- actions that Scottish Ministers should call upon the UK Government to take forwards
The Scottish Government propose that the group will work to deliver the following objectives. These objectives will be discussed and agreed at the first meeting of the group in October 2020:
Recommend a clear pathway for scaling up heat pump deployment over the next five years across domestic and non-domestic heating, considering;
- evidence for meeting Scotland’s 2045 net-zero emissions target
- the forthcoming Scottish Government Heat in Buildings Strategy
- Scottish heat pump sector deployment capacity and capability
- existing incentives and support mechanisms (including SG support through national programmes)
- the benefits, costs and challenges of integrating heat pumps into electricity networks
- the non-financial barriers to heat pump deployment
Consider options for how best to transition support for the sector away from government subsidy in the longer term, making recommendations for actions the Government need to take in this area.
Review the sector skills base and existing capacity and provide recommendations on how to support a sustainable increase incapacity across the heat pump supply chain to support deployment.
Review evidence on diversity and youth employment across the sector, making recommendations on how to maximise each of these respectively.
Innovation and demonstration
Consider how innovation can be used to support deployment of the technology, particularly in the context of Scotland’s existing building stock and including innovative approaches to financial feasibility, providing recommendations on how this can be progressed industry and supported by government.
Review previous and ongoing demonstration activity, considering what gaps exist and how these can be best supported.
Investigate how a heat pump sector deal can support cost reductions for heat pump installations.
Consider the specific challenges for heat pump deployment across Scotland’s regions, such as specific remote, rural and island issues as well as urban areas, and make recommendations on how these could be overcome at a local level to support inclusive growth.
Review the consumer perspectives on heat pump deployment, existing industry standards and certification schemes and the information, advice and support available, to agree actions on how the industry, government and other stakeholders can work to increase uptake through improving consumer confidence and perceptions of the desirability of the technology.
Consider how the industry, utilities and wider stakeholders can work together to support appropriate tariffs for heat pump users which enable deployment.
Although powers relating to energy market regulation and also consumer protection are reserved, the sector deal will consider what actions can be taken within this context and may highlight where further action is needed by UK Government.
Structure and reporting
The expert group shall be chaired independently and supported by the Scottish Government. The group will work through a programme aligned to the themes above where they will be presented with evidence complied by the Scottish Government and other group members, as appropriate. The draft programme below provides indicative timescales:
- Introduction to Heat Pump Sector Deal, 29th October 2020, 15:00 – 17:00
- Innovation and Demonstration, 30th November 2020, 11:00 – 14:00
- Deployment pathway, 27th January 2021, 10:00 – 13:00
- People and Place, 18th February 2021, 10:00 – 13:00
- March 2021, interim report (through correspondence)
- April 2021, Consumers and development of recommendations, 29th April 2021, 10:00 – 13:00
- June 2021, final report and recommendations to Ministers (through correspondence)
To supplement the work of the expert group, the Scottish Government will support a parallel workshop session with heat pump installers and suppliers to provide broader input.
We will also invite the Scottish Energy Officers Network/Housing Officers Network to provide written submissions for the expert group to consider.
Membership to the group is by invitation from the Scottish Government. The core membership of the group is as below:
- Association of Decentralised Energy, Caroline Bragg
- Energy Consumers Commission, Lewis Shand Smith
- Energy Saving Trust, Mike Thornton (Chair)
- Energy Systems Catapult, Paul Jordan
- Heat Pump Association, Phil Hurley
- Lloyds Banking Group, Andy Mason
- Microgeneration Certification Scheme, Ian Rippin
- Mitsubish, Rodney Ayre
- Octopus, Clementine Cowton
- Scottish Renewables, Helen Melone
- SNIPEF, Martyn Raine
- Star Refrigeration, Dave Pearson
- TIG, Stewart Wilson
- Warmworks, Ross Armstrong
- West Highland Housing Association, Graeme Bruce
Additional invitees may be suggested by the group to offer advice in specific sessions.
Representatives of the Scottish Government and, where appropriate, its enterprise agencies and delivery partners.