Tue 29 Oct, 2019

While it’s been disappointing that Westminster have cut the subsidy for green heating, we have control over building standards and planning and must act now Mark Ruskell

The Scottish Government’s ambition to lower emissions to tackle the climate emergency is already falling behind when it comes to renewable heating, it has emerged.

The existing target for 11% of heating to come from renewable sources by 2020 looks unlikely to be met, with energy minister Paul Wheelhouse admitting only 6.3% was reached in 2018.

In an answer to a parliamentary question, Wheelhouse stated investment in renewable heat in Scotland has slowed down because of changes to incentive schemes by the UK Government.

Responding, Scottish Green energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “For a government that likes to talk up its eye-catching targets on climate, the SNP remain woefully incapable of actually meeting them.

“It looks very unlikely we will get to the modest ambition of 11% renewable heat by next year while Sweden is on course to reach 100%. We need to use the powers we have to make our homes more efficient and rapidly expand heat networks infrastructure.

"While it’s been disappointing Westminster have cut the subsidy for green heating, we have control over building standards and planning and must act now. These targets have been in place for nearly a decade and yet compared to renewable electricity we have seen glacial progress.

"Financial subsidy, even when it was set at more attractive levels, did not deliver a step change shift to renewable heating, this needs more regulation and sector planning from government.

“Four out of five Scottish households currently use gas central heating. Why on earth are newly built homes still being plugged into the gas grid when keeping Scotland’s buildings warm accounts for around half of all energy consumption and climate emissions?

“We need a strong policy framework for warm, affordable and zero-carbon homes, such as we propose in the Scottish Green New Deal.”

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