New research reveals a potential 2000 jobs boost from renewable heat in Scotland.
The research, conducted by IPA Economics, reports that a massive growth in the installation of technologies like wood fuel, heat pumps and solar technology will be required to meet Scottish government 2020 heat energy targets.
It concludes that investment would need to be in the order à‚£2.5 billion (US3.7 billion) between now and the end of the next decade, creating or securing several thousand jobs in Scotland from sales, installation and maintenance alone.
But the report is accompanied by industry warnings that red tape could stop the new industry in its tracks.
Local authorities such as the City of Edinburgh Council have had moratoria in place on the approval of wood fuel biomass heating systems over fears about particulate emissions, despite a recent Scottish government study showing emissions at levels of around half of what had previously been believed and new robust guidance being issued for local authorities to assess the location of systems in sensitive urban areas.
Air source heat pumps were also recently excluded from Scottish government measures to make technologies exempt from the requirement for planning approval.
Jason Ormiston, chief executive of trade body Scottish Renewables, said: ‘The challenges to deliver green heat targets are considerable but if we are able to generate 11% of our heat from renewable sources by 2020 then the economic benefits are significant.’