Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Thursday) led calls in parliament for the framework for the future of climate friendly heating in Scotland to be properly island proofed.
Mr McArthur drew comparisons to the heat network framework that has been developed in Denmark, where decentralised decision making has played an important part in developing one of the most effective and sustainable heat network systems in the world.
During the stage one debate on the Bill, Mr McArthur paid tribute to the work already being done in Orkney and highlighted that the islands have shown themselves to be pioneers in establishing novel clean energy options.
Orkney’s MSP also highlighted that local authorities and communities must have a formal role in local delivery and decisions and welcomed assurances from the Energy Minister that consenting power will be transferred to local councils to allow this to happen.
Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:
“The Heat Networks Bill provides a crucial opportunity to meet our environmental objectives and tackle instances of fuel poverty that continue to be all too common across Orkney and other island communities.
“For that to be successfully delivered though, it is essential that consenting power is decentralised to local councils so that they have a formal role in the decisions taken to help their communities. This would allow for more targeted action to address the regional variations in the challenges being faced, for example, in tackling the disproportionate impact of fuel poverty in the islands. For that to happen, islanders will need access to the same low energy prices available to customers in other parts of the country.
“I look forward to working with other MSP colleagues to ensure that the bill is amended over the coming weeks to meet these ambitions”