Decarbonising Heat in Scotland: The Perfect Storm Revisited

  • Keith BakerEmail author


In our previous book I argued that the Scottish Government is facing a perfect storm as it attempts to decarbonise heat supplies over the coming decade. After we went to press, I was left wondering if that conclusion was too alarmist and, given the opportunity to revisit the question two years on, my intention was to follow it up with a more positive vision of Scotland’s future. This chapter does present that vision and sets out how the development of renewable and low carbon heat supplies could contribute to managing the decline of fossil fuels by providing alternative ways of meeting demand for one of our most basic needs, as well as contributing to other environmental, social and economic goals. However, the more I revisited the question the more I was left thinking that perhaps the conclusion wasn’t alarmist enough. Therefore, much of this chapter expands on my original argument by covering threats, particularly technology changes such as the adoption of electric vehicles and the growth of the hydrogen economy, that I paid less attention to. It also revisits the issues of the needs for strategic planning and long-term planning and investment in infrastructure and finds that the latest proposals and policies to emerge from the Scottish Government have done little or nothing to address these needs, and indeed fall far short of them. As a result, rather than presenting a counterpoint to the previous chapter, revisiting the evidence has served to expand on how and why the threat of that perfect storm is now more real than ever.


Heat Decarbonisation Scotland Demand Strategic planning Infrastructure investment 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Built Environment Asset Management (BEAM) CentreGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK

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