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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-32851
Asked by: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 27 October 2020


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the actions it is taking to deliver its target to meet 11% of non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources by 2020.

Current status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 28 October 2020


I can confirm that I have laid a report in Parliament today that provides an update on the actions that the Scottish Government is taking to reach our renewable heat target. The report is now available on the Scottish Government website (at https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781800042070 )

Renewable heat generated in Scotland in 2019 was equivalent to 6.5% of non-electrical fuels consumed for heat. This represents a 5% increase in the quantity of useful renewable heat generated since 2018. Renewable heat capacity increased by 1%.

The growth in renewable heat has been challenging over recent years, and this has been accompanied by outturn data on higher than anticipated demand that indicate that around a third more non-electrical fuel is consumed for heat than had been anticipated in 2009, when the target was set.

The impact of the delay in introducing tariff guarantees for the Renewable Heat Incentive, resulted in uncertainties for businesses in Scotland and delays to investment in new capacity. However, the Scottish Government recognises the need to enhance our own support to investment in this area and we are committed to scaling up and accelerating the deployment of renewable heat; we are re-assessing our approach based on our now more ambitious climate targets, the imperative of a green recovery and lessons from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Over recent months we have launched a number of new funding invitations including a new £20 million Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund; a further £50 million Green Recovery Low Carbon Energy Project Funding invitation to support, among other things, projects that demonstrate innovative low carbon heat solutions for buildings; and I am very pleased to announce that today applications open for a new
‎ £4.0 million cashback scheme which will support SMEs in installing renewable heating systems and improving energy efficiency of their premises. SMEs will be able to apply for cashback of up to £10,000 towards the cost of renewable heating systems and a further £10,000 towards energy efficiency measures.

As set out in the Programme for Government over the next Parliament we will invest nearly £1.6 billion in transforming our buildings to ensure that emissions from heating are eliminated by 2040 to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty.

We will shortly issue a consultation on regulations to ensure that new homes consented from 2024 use renewable or low carbon heat. In addition we are convening an expert group to make recommendations on the scope of a potential heat pump sector deal for Scotland.

In December we will publish a draft Heat in Buildings Strategy setting out our strategy for reducing emissions from heating our buildings, including an updated renewable heat target.

In addition to the report I laid today, the Energy Savings Trust have published the report Renewable Heat in Scotland 2019 , which provides further insight into these figures. The Energy Savings Trust report is now available at https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/report/renewable-heat-in-scotland-2019/