Renewable heat on rise in Scotland

SCOTLAND – A report published by the Energy Saving Trust has revealed that the amount of heat generated by renewable sources in Scotland grew by 36% during 2014. The report also reveals that over 1 gigawatt of renewable heat capacity was estimated to be in operation in Scotland in 2014. This latest estimate of the renewable heat capacity would account for around an estimated 3.8% of the total non-electrical heat demand.
The report, which was carried out by the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government, covered heat from heat pumps (both ground and air) biomass, waste and solar thermal energy. The report was compiled in an attempt to measure the progress that has been made towards meeting the Scottish Government’s target of 11% heat coming from renewable energy sources by 2020.
The report also uncovered that non-electrical heat demand in Scotland had been reduced by 2% in 2013 (the most recent year data is available for), falling to just over 82,000 GWh.
This year also saw the Scottish Government publish its Heat Policy Statement, whose stated aim is to largely decarbonise the heat system by 2050.
The Heat Policy Statement outlines how Scotland might use less energy for heat, and how it is possible for low carbon heat to reach more householders, business and communities and provide a clear framework for investment in the future of heat in Scotland.
The Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing declared “I am pleased 2014 has seen the biggest step change in heat demand generated from renewable sources, a significant step forward to decarbonising heating.
“We are committed in helping support households and business across become more energy efficient and use more low carbon and renewable heat sources.”
Mr Ewing did, however, point out that there is continuing uncertainty about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Despite this uncertainty, he said Scotland would continue to press for commitment from the UK Government to the long term sustainability of the RHI beyond next year to encourage confidence for project funders and also to stimulate investment in renewable heat technologies.
The Scottish Government also has its own programmes independent from UK-wide schemes which are designed to provide support to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies. These local programmes include projects such as the Home Renewables Loan Scheme, Resource Efficiency Scotland and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.