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Renewable Heat Action Plan 2014



In November 2009 the Scottish Government published its Renewable Heat Action Plan which set out its plans for the promotion of heat from renewable sources. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (CCA) requires Scottish Ministers to report regularly on the progress towards meeting the target to deliver 11% of non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources. This complements the energy efficiency target to reduce the total final energy consumption in Scotland by 12% (against a base line of the average energy consumption in 2005-07), and underpins our ambitious climate change targets including a 80% minimum reduction  in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a world leading 42% reduction by 2020.

This document provides a further update to the Renewable Heat Action Plan which was updated in 2010, refreshed in 2011 and subsequently subsumed into the 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland, last update in January 2014. Additionally, in January 2013 the Scottish Government published a Draft Outline Heat Vision and Draft Heat Deployment Options Guidance and in March 2014 a Draft Heat Generation Policy Statement.


Progress Towards Renewable Heat Target

In 2013 an estimated 0.662GW of renewable heat capacity was operational in Scotland, producing an estimated 2,904GWh of useful renewable heat. This represents an 18% increase in renewable heat capacity and a 17% increase in heat generated from renewable sources compared with 2012, meaning we are making good progress towards achieving our 2020 renewable heat target.

This data is drawn from Renewable Heat in Scotland, 2013 published by the Energy Saving Trust in June 2014, which provides further detail.

This is the first time that the renewable heat report has used the new improved methodology developed in consultation with stakeholders. This provides an estimate of progress based on the current level of heat demand as opposed to a projection for 2020. Using the latest figures available for total heat demand, in 2011 the Scottish Government estimates that renewable heat generation equated to 2.6% of Scotland’s non-electrical heat demand. This grew from 1% in 2008/09.  (2011 is the latest available estimate due to a lag in the final energy consumption data for Scotland published by DECC. Data for 2012 will be available in Autumn 2013).

In order to ensure transparency, this new heat monitoring measure is presented in tandem with the previous methodology. As heat demand in 2011 was higher than the forecast heat demand in 2020, the previous methodology results in a higher percentage of renewable heat generation. Using the previous methodology, in 2013 Scotland produced enough heat from renewable sources to meet 4.8% of the forecast heat demand in 2020, up from 4.1% in 2012 (and 3.8% in 2011).


Update on Action

A draft Heat Generation Policy Statement, Towards decarbonising Heat: Maximising the Opportunities for Scotland, was published for consultation at the beginning of March 2014. It sets out how low carbon heat can reach more householders, business and communities and a clear framework for investment in the future of heat in Scotland in order to largely decarbonise the heat system by 2050.

Heat accounts for over half of Scotland’s total energy use. The draft Policy Statement  was debated in Parliament in March 2014 and it received cross party support for the statement’s ambition. The parliament recognised that the policy statement establishes a strong foundation for decarbonising the heat system, helping underpin our climate change targets, while offering real economic opportunities for business and industry, along with affordable warmth for households.  Cross party consensus is important for ensuring development of a stable heat policy providing industry confidence.

It sets out the Scottish Government’s heat hierarchy, at the top of this hierarchy is reducing the need for heat through more energy efficient buildings, processes and behaviours; secondly by ensuring an efficient heat supply, such as development of the district heating sector and the use of unused excess heat through heat recovery, and then the effective use of renewable or low carbon heat sources, helping to diversify our sources of heat and provide increased security of heat supply.

It also discusses how Scotland might stimulate potential investment to deliver de-carbonised heat through growing and emerging sectors, such as district heating and geothermal. It proposes setting targets for district heating in Scotland (40,000 homes benefitting from district heating by 2020 with an overall target of 1.5 TWh of district heating to be delivered to business, industry and domestic premises by 2020). It also announced an additional £4 million for the District Heat Loan Fund, part of a £10.5 million package of support for heat policy over the two years 2014 to 2016.  The consultation ended on 9 June 2014 and the responses will be analysed before finalising the Heat Generation Policy Statement.

Our ambitions on renewable heat require focused advice, support and commitment from industry and other stakeholders. This input is provided through the Renewables Industry Advisory Group (RIAG) and its member organisations.

The draft Heat Generation Policy Statement provides an update to the Renewable Heat Action Plan (RHAP) and the action points in the two subsequent RHAP updates. The following table sets out some of the key actions from the draft Heat Generation Policy Statement.



Improve accuracy of data used in calculating the heat target and progress towards meeting it

In June 2013 Energy Saving Trust (EST) published an update on progress towards the renewable heat target with an improved methodology proposed by Scottish Government for reporting on the target, developed in consultation with stakeholders. In June 2014 EST published an update report using improved reporting methodology. Scottish Government will continue to engage with Department of Energy and Climate Change and other relevant stakeholders to improve accuracy of data available for this report.

Develop a heat map for Scotland

Scotland Heat Map dataset was offered to all local authorities in April 2014 and all local authorities have received training on how to access and use the data. Scotland heat map interactive, a web version of the heat map will be published soon on www.scotland.gov.uk/heatmap .

Establish Heat Network Partnership for Scotland

The Heat Network Partnership for Scotland was established in 2013, and is working closely with a number of projects on the technical, financial and procurement aspects of heat networks and with local authorities on the strategic development of district heating. The Partnership works with the Scottish Green Investment Portfolio to identify opportunities for investment in heat network infrastructure. A number of training sessions on district heating have been offered including on public sector financing model and technology options  - slides are available on the website.  Guidance for public sector bodies has been published on the Partnership website (www.districtheatingscotland.com) which also has an enquiry form for any organisation seeking information, advice and support on district heating.

Heat Network Partnership for Scotland to review the extent to which the public sector estate is suitable for connecting to district heating

As Scotland heat map dataset is now available this project has been scoped and is underway.

District heating – planning and permitting requirements

The National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) published on 23 June 2014 both strongly support the roll-out of heat networks and development of renewable energy. In particular, the SPP section on A Low Carbon Place is clear that development plans should seek to ensure an area’s full potential for electricity and heat from renewable sources is achieved, in line with national climate change targets, giving due regard to relevant environmental, community and cumulative impact considerations.  Local development plans should use heat mapping to identify the potential for co-locating developments with a high heat demand with sources of heat supply. They should also support the development of heat networks in as many locations as possible, even where they are initially reliant on carbon-based fuels if there is potential to convert them to run on renewable or low carbon sources of heat in the future.

New requirements on use of excess heat from industrial processes and Combined Heat & Power are being introduced under the Pollution Prevention & Control regulations. Any new installation over 20 MWth, or one which is being substantially refurbished, will need to carry out a cost benefit analysis on supplying heat to heat networks.

Support uptake of non-domestic renewable heat and the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

Being provided through a number of finance and support mechanisms including:

  • Since launching the District Heating Loan Fund in 2011/12, loans totalling £4.6 million have been committed to 23 projects, 11 of which are now fully commissioned. The projects are mainly off gas grid biomass heat networks such as Ignis Wick, and one network heated by a water source heat pump at Loch Ness Shores.
  • We have increased funding for the DHLF by over £4 million, making a total of £8 million available over the two years 2014 to 2016.
  • The Warm Homes fund has offered loan funding of £6.9 million for three housing association district heating projects in Oban, Fife and West Whitlawburn, Cambuslang.  A number of grants for feasibility studies have also been provided.
  • The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) is a £103 million fund running till March 2016 providing capital support for renewables in the forms of loans and equity.
  • Resource Efficient Scotland SME loans scheme provides loans of £1,000 to £100,000 to SMEs, private landlords and not-for-profit organisations for the installation of sustainable energy, material resource and water efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies.

Work to increase householder awareness of, confidence in and uptake of small scale heat generation technologies

  • Continued development of the Green Homes Network.
  • 833 RHPPP vouchers offered for renewable heat technologies in Scotland totalling over £1.2 million in 2013-4.
  • 660 loans awarded for renewable heat technologies under the Home Energy Scotland renewables loan scheme totalling £4.4 million (for 2013-14). This comprised £3.1 million of payments and a further £1.3 million of legal commitments.
  • Over 11,900 householders advise on renewable technologies, 2,337 of whom received in home face-to-face renewables advice (including on renewable heat). Evaluation indicated that 68% of all households have implemented at least one recommendation and 35% have implemented at least one renewable energy recommendation within the first year of the visit.
  • Home renewables loan extended from April 2014 with £4 million funding to support initial stages of the domestic RHI which was launched on 9th April 2014.

Forestry Commission support of development of the wood fuel sector

Further to the support already provided in developing the Usewoodfuel website and facilitating regional woodfuel forums across Scotland providing knowledge transfer and network opportunities and promoting the RHI to non-domestic end users and encouraging farms and estates to manage their woods for woodfuel, in 2014/15 the FCS support will focus on increasing professionalism in the supply chain by supporting the development of an industry-led body for biomass installers and woodfuel  suppliers.

Biomass procurement

The biomass procurement framework was put in place in January 2013.


Details of biomass procurement framework is available here http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/Procurement/directory/Utilities/biomassesa

Undertake research into the potential for deep geothermal heat in Scotland

Reports published November 2013: Study into the Potential for Deep Geothermal Energy in Scotland: Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Commitment to work with industry, academia and public sector partners to develop a call for demonstration projects.


Skills Development Scotland will continue to support Scottish businesses by providing advice, funding and training support on energy efficiency, renewable and low carbon technologies  through a range of initiatives. Further information is available on  the Our Skillsforce website:   www.ourskillsforce.co.uk