Turn up the heat

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We welcome the Scottish Government’s publication of its draft heat generation policy statement (HGPS) for consultation on 4 March. It is an important step in the right direction and provides a welcome focus on an often forgotten part of our energy mix.

Heating Scotland’s buildings and hot water currently accounts for more than half our total energy demand and nearly half our CO2 emissions. However, today only around 3 per cent of our heating comes from renewables.

With rising energy prices and 27 per cent of households in Scotland estimated to be in fuel poverty, the need for cost-effective and cleaner means of heating our homes is an even greater priority.

The draft HGPS is an opportunity to kick-start a surge in 
renewable heat in order to reduce dependence on volatile international oil and gas markets, insulate homes from fuel poverty and stimulate a new industry.

However, if the final document is to trigger the transformation we need to see, then the framework provided will need to be fleshed out with a robust package of regulation and support that builds investor and consumer confidence in already proven technologies.

It is clear from the Scottish Government’s own analysis that strong policy signals and political leadership are required to support households and businesses to make the transition to low 
carbon heating.

Lang Banks

WWF Scotland

Niall Stuart

Scottish Renewables

Norman Kerr

Energy Action Scotland

(Dr) Mary Taylor

Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

The boss of Centrica says that, by 2020, Britain will import 70 per cent of its gas. But you report that the UK is “to import 70 per cent of energy” (Business, 6 March), apparently unaware that gas is only one source of energy.

In 2011, gas provided only 33.5 per cent of final energy consumption, the rest coming from coal and manufactured fuels, oil, electricity (42.8 per cent) and bio-
energy and heat. In all, 140.6 
million tonnes of oil equivalent.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecoat Loan

Edinburgh