THERE ARE important lessons to be learned from Estonia, a country half the size of Scotland, with a quarter of its population, which is aiming high on renewable heat.

Adam Baxendine, of Savills Energy Consulting team in Perth, addressed the Baltic Energy Solutions Conference in Estonia last month, where he highlighted Scotland' success in meeting sustainable electricity targets.

But he also discovered that, whilst Estonia’s renewable energy targets are less ambitious at 17.6% for electricity, compared to Scotland's 100%, their heat target is 37.4% compared to our 11%.

Mr Baxendine said: "Estonia's heat ambitions are grander than our fairly meagre 11% Scotland. In fact, Scotland only achieved a 5% renewable heat last year. Much of the progress being made in Estonia has been due to successful district heating networks. We are only at the start of this journey but the potential in Scotland is enormous."

The Scottish Government has set ambitious heat targets of 1.5TWh to be achieved by 2020. Estonia is making good progress on it's heat target of 38.4% by 2020. It already produces 6.6TWh of heat through district heating schemes.