The Danish delegation was in Scotland for three days to meet with a large group of people engaged in the development of district heating in Scotland. The visit was co-organised and co-hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council and Highland council.
Local and national authorities, the National Health Service, universities and housing associations took part in three workshops held in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Here Jesper from Aalborg District Heating Company together with representatives from the three local authorities gave first class presentations to set the scene for the camp sessions. In the camps, specific challenges are presented and then discussed in smaller groups with both Danish and Scottish participants. This gives the delegation a unique opportunity to engage in a proper exchange of information and to get a much better understanding of the Scottish district heating world – in short, a rare opportunity to share how each company is able to assist in the future development of district heating in Scotland.
Tuesday afternoon, in Edinburgh DBDH hosted an open district heating seminar. No less than 75 persons were present at the seminar, where Edinburgh and Bristol City Council among others shared their approach to rolling out DH successfully. Wednesday afternoon, we invited the developers, consultant engineers, designers and specifiers with the aim to meet and understand their challenges and maybe change their attitude to district heating a wee bit during a seminar in Glasgow. We also found the time to make a site visit to the famous DH scheme in Glasgow – the Athletes Village.
District heating in Scotland is in many ways in its infancy, but as Ian Booth from Aberdeen Heat and Power pointed out in the Inverness workshop, there are actually a bunch of schemes that are very successful e.g. Aberdeen, Dumfermline, Wick and Larvik. He also pointed out the need for Scottish Government to support the roll out of DH much more as a part of their endeavours to reach sustainability targets. Ian actually repeated what was also said several times during the 3 days from e.g. Aalborg, Glasgow and Bristol: “Just do it” – if a city or town really wants to alleviate fuel poverty, provide affordable warmth and be a part of a green transition, district heating is an important part.
Ian also advocated strongly for what many call the Danish DH model, but what actually is a model used many places outside Denmark – among others Aberdeen. The idea that the pipe network must be owned by a non-for-profit, transparent, council controlled entity.
The Highland Camp took place in the historic Town Hall right in the center of Inverness – a magnificent building next to the castle, but under renovation. The Danish delegation and Aberdeen Heat and Power should meet in the afternoon. In the same second the fire alarm went off and we all rushed to the assembly point – a very abrupt finish to 3 fine days in Scotland.