The Scottish Greens have reiterated their call for more national and local  investment in district heating schemes – a mature technology used far more widely to heat communities in other European countries.

Speaking in a debate at Holyrood, Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone highlighted the success of the Combined Heat and Power schemes at the University of Edinburgh, and the potential of large development sites such as at Fountainbridge for new, future-proof schemes.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian said:

"In decades to come, we’ll think it was incredible that a housing development of 70 flats had seventy boilers. Efficient district heating technologies are ready to be rolled out in Scotland, but we need to see more ambition from councils to make this happen.

"Over the next 40 years, it's estimated that a hundred billion pounds worth of heat equipment will be replaced in Scotland. We have a highly centralised energy market, dominated by a few companies, which has hampered the ability of new companies to deliver the levels of district heating that we see in Norway or Holland.

"Councils have a huge opportunity to invest locally and secure a lasting income by selling electricity produced in association with heat, as well as tackling fuel poverty and cutting climate emissions."