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Assessment of Scotland’s opportunities within digital heat technologies – February 2023


Scottish Enterprise commissioned Ramboll to understand the potential for Scotland to be a leader in the low-carbon heat tech industry and to improve the competitiveness of the industry and firms within.


This research was informed by an extensive literature and information review including previous Ramboll studies, relevant academic research, and market intelligence from publicly available sources and databases. In addition, 12 expert interviews were conducted from the following four categories: Ramboll experts, wider stakeholders, heat pump experts, heat network experts and digital experts.


Scotland has set an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by 75% by 2030. Decarbonising heat through the application of digital technologies will play a crucial role in achieving this target. Having the lowest rate of decarbonised heat of any country in Europe combined with ambitious decarbonisation targets and supporting public investments provide an opportunity for Scotland to develop its industry within low-carbon heat technologies. Four primary drivers and collective collaboration of key actors are key to develop the Scottish industry including: Regulation, Policies & Incentives; Industry Capabilities & Structure; Demand for Technology; and Society & Infrastructure. In addition to the drivers, the development of the Scottish industry for low-carbon heat technologies relies on the collaboration and collective action between key actors among policymakers, network and industry organisation, universities and companies.


The analysis has identified nine recommended focus areas for moving forward the Scottish digital heat tech industry including: 1. Joint vision between Scotland and the UK to align initiatives and ensure a united perspective of the system integration and decarbonisation plans 2. Centralised support for councils and communities 3. Scottish SMEs are provided with the necessary resources for research and innovation to match the capabilities of larger companies 4. Dedicated task force for digital technologies in low-carbon heating 5. International market analysis 6. Improved data availability 7. Upskilling programmes for professionals and universities 8. Research institute programmes dedicated to digital heat tech 9. Education of consumers

Author Ramboll
Published Year 2023
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Equity
    Sustainable development
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development