Scotland announces massive plan for heat pump deployment

The Scottish government wants to deploy renewable-powered heat pumps on at least 1 million homes and 50,000 non-domestic buildings by the end of this decade. For this purpose, it has created an advisory group and is now seeking to gather all potential stakeholders.

June 14, 2021

The Scottish government has published the first interim report of the Heat Pump Sector Deal Expert Advisory Group, which is a group of professionals supporting the nation’s ministry to put in place a scheme to support the massive deployment of heat pumps.

This is the sort of challenge where a sector deal involving key stakeholders in a broad partnership can make all the difference, ensuring that all the necessary building blocks are in place to drive rapid progress to a specific goal, including the necessary public engagement,” the paper’s authors wrote.

Through this initiative, the Scottish government wants to deploy renewable-powered heat pumps on at least 1 million homes and 50,000 non-domestic buildings by the end of this decade. “One immediate thing it can do is use its powers of regulation and planning to drive installation of zero-carbon heating in both old and new buildings, including creating a definitive ‘market moment’ by announcing an end date for fossil fuel heating installation,” the document reads. “A further action which can be taken rapidly, is to directly incorporate the ambitious targets in its own programs.”

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These two actions combined, according to the group’s experts, will be key to providing the necessary volumes for the creation of a supply chain and price reductions. Another crucial step will be creating awareness of this heating technology among consumers. “Significant effort and resources will be required but most actions proposed are a ramping up or extension of existing activity, albeit at considerable pace and scale, and so there is much to build on,” they further explained. “If the Scottish government follows the recommendations set out in this report, we are confident that [its] ambitious goals for heat pump deployment can be met.”

Similar efforts are currently being made in the Netherlands, where the Dutch association of national-regional electricity and gas network operators, Netbeheer Nederland, are leading a plan to deploy up to 2 million hybrid heat pumps by 2030. The plan should be supported by a subsidy scheme by the government and enable the installation of at least 100,000 heat pumps per year from 2024.

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