A new £30 million fund for low-carbon heating infrastructure is now open for projects to make applications.
The Scottish Low Carbon Heat Funding is being made available to businesses and organisations working on innovative solutions to heating buildings.
Financial support will account for 50% of the total eligible costs of a capital project – including those focused on reducing emissions – up to a maximum of £10 million.
The funding is part of a wider Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme which was introduced by the Scottish Government in March 2015 in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and sector specialists.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “It’s estimated that Scotland’s homes are responsible for the emission of six million tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide into our atmosphere every year, 15% of all emissions.
“In order to meet Scotland’s ambitious proposed climate change targets, we estimate that nearly every Scottish home – unless already on a renewable heat supply – will need to have a change to its heating system by 2045, if not before.
“The Scottish Government is already making inroads to that target, by committing to ensuring that all new homes use renewable or low-carbon heat by 2024, but we also want to create an environment where existing homes transition to renewable solutions as well.
“The problem is too big for the government to tackle on its own, so we are tapping into the significant expertise and talent that exists within Scotland – giving people the means to take the initiative and effect change through deployment of innovative, low-carbon approaches to heating.
“By taking this approach we’re also supporting jobs, building skills, and ultimately creating end products with an environmental and social benefit.”
WWF Scotland’s climate and energy policy manager, Robin Parker, said: “In the face of the climate crisis, it’s good to see Scottish Government support for businesses and organisations to tap into low-carbon heat.
“However, we urgently need to embrace more transformational approaches to decarbonise heat, that rapidly start giving thousands of people every year access to fossil fuel-free heating, with tried-and-tested technologies like heat pumps and district heating.
“That means ambitious changes to building standards, a heat pump sector deal, district heating legislation and an accelerated national energy efficiency programme.”
Dr Jamie Stewart, fair markets spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “This funding is welcome, as increasing renewable heating will be an important way for Scotland to reduce emissions.
“While this investment is focussed on businesses and organisations, it’s essential that similar packages are available to those who currently struggle to heat their homes.
“This will ensure that the benefits of renewable heating can be experienced by those who need it most.
“It is vital that the cost of cutting emissions doesn’t fall heaviest on the poorest people.”