Ground-breaking green heating network hosts German Minister

11 November 2021

A German energy minister visiting Scotland for COP26 has praised Stirling’s pioneering low carbon District Heating Network during a special visit.

Head of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector, Minister Thekla Walker toured the facility in Stirling on Monday (8 Nov). The £6 million ground-breaking project, the first in the UK to use a mix of cutting-edge renewable technologies to harness energy from waste water, is an excellent example of how cross-sector collaboration can help tackle climate change.

Delivered by Stirling Council in partnership with Scottish Water Horizons, with funding support from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), the green heating network delivers low carbon energy to public buildings and businesses.

L-R: Brian Roberts (COO Stirling Council leader) with Paul Kerr(SWH), Dr George Stamatelopoulos COO of EnBW, Dr Ulrich Maurer Head of Unit Energy Sector, Thekla Walker MdL Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy Sector and Scott Farmer (Stirling Council Leader) inside the Energy Centre at Stirling.

Leading by example

The Minister said the network represents the type of innovation public bodies must implement to inspire others into action in fighting climate change.

Minister Walker said: “World leaders have come together at this time to plan the next steps in the ongoing fight against climate change, so it was really inspiring to see something like the District Heating Network already in place in a beautiful location like Stirling.

This is an example of forward-thinking, renewable energy production, which is exactly the type of infrastructure changes we’re making in Germany and want to see done elsewhere

Minister Thekla Walker, Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector

“The fact that the energy from this site serves public buildings like schools and leisure facilities just makes it even better and I would like to thank Stirling Council and its partners for showing us around today.”

The District Heating Network is one of Stirling’s key projects aiming to help Scotland’s zero-carbon targets by saving a projected 381 tonnes of carbon per annum –the equivalent of flying a passenger jet from Glasgow to Sydney, Australia, about 82 times.

Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Scott Farmer, said: “The eyes of the world are on Scotland right now and it’s great to know that amidst that attention, Stirling is already standing out as a leader in the fight against climate change.

“We were delighted to welcome the Minister and her team to see first-hand how the technology being used at this energy centre has made Stirling the home of a new era in heating, and we hope it has inspired her involvement at the COP26 summit this week.”

Scottish Water Horizons, a commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water, own and operate the energy centre at Stirling Waste Water Treatment Works, which is also supplied with low-carbon electricity from the scheme.

The delegation hear from James Reid, Operations Director (Energy) at FES – the local company who lead on construction.

Paul Kerr, Managing Director of Scottish Water Horizons, said “We are determined to lead with way in helping Scotland achieve net zero emissions by enabling vital transformation of its heat networks.

“Heat accounts for over half of the energy used across the country, with traditional fuels a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Maximising value from waste water to provide sustainable heat highlights how innovative thinking and collaboration can make a positive difference for future generations.

“As we finish the second week of COP26, we very much welcomed the opportunity to showcase what Scotland is doing at a national level in the fight against climate change.”

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