The Target 🎯

Scotland has one of the most ambitious climate change targets in the world with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045. More urgently, there is an initial target of an emissions reduction of at least 75% by 2030. There has been significant progress in the decarbonisation of electricity with an estimated 90% of consumption coming from renewable energy in 2019. Other areas are now the key focus of decarbonisation such as agriculture, transport and zero emission heating in buildings.

The Problem 🏠

Buildings account for approximately 20% Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This presents a challenge as Scotland will not be able to meet its climate change targets unless all emissions from heating buildings are eliminated. If net zero is to be achieved by 2045 then zero emission heating systems will be needed across the housing sector. However, this also presents an opportunity.

Zero Emission Heating 🌍

New buildings should lead the way when it comes to decarbonising Scotland’s building stock. Although they are only a small part of the problem when compared to existing dwellings, which tend to be energy inefficient. New builds have a better opportunity to adopt new technologies and help to reduce overall heat demand.

New legislation is to be introduced by the Scottish Government that will result in new homes consented from 2024 requiring zero direct emissions heating and feature high levels of fabric efficiency. Such heating systems will use renewable or low carbon heat sources. Examples may include – solar water heaters and ground source/air heat pumps. As a result energy efficiency and therefore the EPC rating of the property will improve.This move is intended to avoid adding more emissions from new buildings as well as unnecessary retrofit projects in future.

The building sector is striving to return to a sense of normality due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government has voiced its commitment to working with the sector. This can help ensure the transition to a zero emissions future is successful in the years ahead.

More information can be found here:

What do you think about this goal – is this a realistic time scale?

Adam Al-khateb 22/04/21