How to decarbonise the Scottish district energy infrastructure, minimise raw material shortages and create green jobs at the same time? Answer: by the adoption of the Scotland’s first District Heating Act that accelerates the expansion of the country’s district heating network. The UK is generally challenged by a heat supply that is primarily based on fossil energy. Conversely, Denmark is internationally recognised for having one of the world’s greenest district heating networks with very high connectivity. Therefore, there has been great interest from the British side in bringing Danish experience directly into play in the work of expanding district heating in Scotland.
The Scottish District Heating Act is a tangible result of Denmark and the UK having had an energy collaboration since 2017 with a focus on district heating. In connection with the District Heating Act, the Danish Energy Agency and the Danish Embassy have specifically supported the Scots through dialogue, written material, workshops, and participation in working groups. In Scotland, the expansion of district heating is considered a central part of the way to realise the country’s climate goal of 75% CO2e reductions by 2030 (from 1990). Going forward, the ambition is that the district heating supply will be based on renewable energy, such as heat pumps and surplus heat from existing processes. Scotland is considered a frontrunner for UK-wide district heating regulation, and Scottish regulation is expected to have an impact on district heating development across the UK.
Danish counselling and experience have had a major impact on the new Scottish district heating law that will help to reduce CO2 emissions substantially by 2050 and create many new, green jobs in Scotland. The law will 20-double the number of Scottish households connected to district heating to 650,000 homes by 2030. According to the Scots, the law will reduce CO2 emissions by 2050 equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the streets. The Denmark-UK collaboration is one of Denmark’s 16 government-to-government energy collaborations with countries that together account for more than 60 per cent of the world’s CO2e emissions.