Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

In fairness, I recognise Maurice Golden’s strong interest in the area. He has raised the issue of district heating a number of times, and I commend him for taking it forward. It is another issue on which I hope that we can have common ground.

The Government has an ambition to deliver 1.5 terawatt hours of Scotland’s heat by district or communal heating by 2020. As part of the wider strategy to 2032 to support the environment secretary’s climate change plan, we are looking at what more we can do to step that up. That is why we have the encouraging work that the special working group on regulation has done to inform our thinking on a regulatory environment that might make that happen faster and secure greater private sector investment.

We have had considerable international interest in what we are doing in Scotland. Scotland and London are probably the two locations in the UK that are attracting the most interest in relation to district heating projects, because we are getting the regulatory position correct. I commend my predecessor, Fergus Ewing, for taking forward that work. I have picked up the ball from him.