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Renewable Heat Action Plan: Update 2010





On 5 November 2009 the Scottish Government Published its Renewable Heat Action Plan, which set out a plan for the promotion of the use of heat from renewable sources. As required under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (CCA), Ministers must lay a report before parliament within a year of the publication of the original report. The report must set out the steps being taken to Implement the Renewable Heat Action Plan. This report has been prepared in order to satisfy that requirement.

Overview of Steps taken to implement the Plan

The Forum for Renewable Energy Development Scotland (FREDS): Renewable Heat Implementation Group was established in August 2009 in order to deliver the actions in Scotland's Renewable Heat Action Plan.

As well as promoting the delivery of the actions identified in the RHAP, the Group has reviewed the market to determine further steps required to make progress against climate change and energy targets, setting new actions where appropriate. A full report of the Actions that have been taken so far and those that are underway can be found at Annex A of this report.

The Group is working strategically with the overarching FREDS group and the Energy Advisory Board to assist in meeting Scotland's overall energy targets while delivering sustainable growth.

The group consists of members from a wide range of areas. A full list of members, as well as minutes from all meetings has been published.

A summary of the key actions undertaken to date include:

  • Scottish Government responded to the UK Government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) consultation in April 2010. Since then the coalition Government has given a commitment to take forward the RHI, although the details are still to be finalised.
  • Results of round 3 of the Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme announced on 20 May 2010. 16 applications (totalling 6.4 MW) were awarded total funding of over £1 million. 5 applications have been received under a final call for applications and these are being assessed. An announcement of the successful projects will be made before the end of the year.
  • Major renewable heat stakeholder event held in February, hosted by Jim Mather, with 130 participants; input on RHI.
  • Thermal guidance and biomass scoping opinion both emphasised importance of use of heat from bioenergy.
  • Major biomass stakeholder event held in June 2010, hosted by Jim Mather.


Further details of the actions being taken forward and those that have been completed are provided in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1






Supporting Developments

Consider findings from gap analysis work undertaken by SRF and take appropriate action.

First Quarter 2010

Scottish Government (SG)

· Microgeneration gap analysis complete July 2009. Report under consideration as part of the workstreams of the RHIG

Information and Advice

Undertake a heat mapping pilot with Highland Council, in conjunction with CoSLA, and promote the findings to all 32 Local Authorities.

Ongoing - provisionally Summer 2010

SG; Highland Council

· Work is currently ongoing to collect a full data set to incorporate into the model.

· When completed it is intended that the process can be used as an example to other local authorities.

Publish guidance for developers considering new build thermal power stations.



· In March we published our guidance for new thermal power stations in Scotland. We also introduced our Biomass Scoping Opinion template.

Work with the Carbon Trust, through the Biomass Accelerator Programme, to target Scottish companies that are high heat users, with a view to getting them to switch to renewable heat.

end March 2012

Carbon Trust

· Contacted 100 companies by End July 09.

· Complete 20 energy audits by end December 2009.

· Carbon Trust are supporting a number of successful applicants from the Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme.

Provide support and advice through the Regional Advice Network (RBAN), key tasks: co-ordinate support/advice from other key agencies; undertake marketing programme.

End December 2011


· Ongoing

· Network of 5 Biomass Development Officers in place

· GB-wide development study for Woodfuel Suppliers completed

· Resource assessment of arboricultural arisings nearing completion.

· Biomass Exchange study completed

· Series of RBAN Biomass for Business events have taken place with more scheduled (see www.usewoodfuel.co.uk/Current%20Events.stm)

· Series of woodfuel training sessions across Scotland in October and November

· Barriers to Uptake of Biomass by LAs study presented at Sustainable Scotland event in October


FREDS Renewable Heat group to consider specific skills needs for renewable heat and to feed this into the Renewable Energy Skills Group


FREDS Renewable Heat Group/ SG

· Newly formed FREDS Skills Group will focus on specific areas in over the next year - Renewable Heat is planned to be one of the first that they will address.

· The RHIG will ensure that the skills group are fully informed of industry requirements.


Ensure that Scottish interests are taken into account in the design of the RHI.


· SG

· Scottish Government has responded to the UK Government RHI consultation to ensure Scottish interests are covered and will continue to seek.

· The new UK coalition government have indicated it will set out detailed proposals on its commitment to renewable heat through the Spending Review.

· UK Government formal announcement it will introduce RHI, await details.

Developing the woody biomass sector.

Woodfuel availability and supply chain.

Maintain progress against the actions identified in the Wood Fuel Task Force, keys tasks are: Improve accuracy of forecasting, and develop long-term contracts and greater transparency in the market.

End 2011

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS)

· Evaluation report of SBSS carried out by AEA including 3 SBSS case studies.

· Case studies presented at Biomass for Business events

Support Investment

Run the SBHS to assist SME's to adopt biomass heat technology.

End March 2011


· Results of round 3 announced on 20 May 2010. 16 applications (totalling 6.4 MW) were awarded total funding of over £1 million.

· A final call for applications was issued on 2nd June 2010

Continue funding via CARES & SRDP to support renewable heat installations including demonstrator DH

April 2011


· Both schemes continue to fund renewable heat installations.

Fiscal and Regulatory measures

Continue to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources via the RO, and continue to provide enhanced support for AD and biomass CHP.

Ongoing progress


· This support continues to be provided under the RO.

· Banding introduced April 2009 with a commitment to end March 2027.

Air quality

Promote best practice and provide guidance on air quality.

Ongoing progress


· Consultation underway on Environmental Protection UK - Biomass and Air Quality Guidance for Scottish Local Authorities

Energy from Waste

Support development of AD through Zero Waste Scotland



· Successful applications to round 8 of the Organics Capital Support Programme have now been announced. Projects set to be completed by 1 March 2011

Quantify how much energy from waste (including AD) can contribute to renewable heat generation in Scotland

Published June 2010


· SG asked Sustainable Development Commission to undertake the research.

· The study was published on 18 June 2010

Develop proposals for advancing Scottish innovation in relation to EfW technology

February 2010

Scot Ent, ETP, Scottish Whisky Research Institute

· Study completed to look at the opportunity for the application of innovative low-carbon energy technology, including EfW, in the Scottish whisky industry. This work will inform future intervention in relation to EfW innovation.

· The results will be discussed with SWRI & ETP shortly.