Reflections on Scottish Renewables Low Carbon Heat Conference 2021

Carol Aitken, Ben Carter and Paul Steen reflect on this year's Scottish Renewables Heat Conference.

Vattenfall were delighted to be headline sponsor of the Scottish Renewables Heat Conference. It was very well organised, well attended and we acknowledge the delight that was shared by attendees to be able to network again.

The conference was extremely well timed with the announcement yesterday by Glasgow City Council their call for £30bn in a “Greenprint for investment”.  This includes three district heating projects among the 10 named projects that were announced including networks connecting Polmadie to Gorbals, at the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District and Glasgow Climate Innovation District. 

Paul Steen shared a platform with Richard Lochhead, the new Minister for a just transition. Paul set out Vattenfall's vision for ambitious expansion of heat networks that will contribute meaningfully to decarbonising Edinburgh and Glasgow.


Over 70 people who live and breathe zero carbon networks were present and would have enjoyed the dynamic, informal discussions that came up. The conference ended with a visit to the Queens Quay district heating network at Clydebank and an excellent example of district heating at scale and we congratulate West Dunbartonshire Council and Star Renewables on their ambition.

Overall the conference was an excellent policy discussion and a good networking opportunity with knowledgeable stakeholders. It demonstrated that the Heat Networks Act was just the first step towards the support needed for the district heating sector to thrive. There's still a big job to be done if we are to achieve the ambition of seeing all buildings converted to low or zero carbon heat by 2045. In the words of the minister: 'to do so we will need to see the heat sector grow very, very rapidly'.

A timely message as we applaud Glasgow City Council on their £30bn Greenprint – an ambition we fully support.

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