Renewable Heat Action Plan for Scotland: a plan for the promotion of the use of heat from renewable sources

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SECTION 5: FOCUS TO 2020

This section will cover:

  • Routemaps
  • Market sectors
  • Sources of renewable heat
  • Case studies
  • Beyond 2020

Routemaps

5.1 As mentioned in section 2, sectoral routemaps for heat and bioenergy are included in the Renewables Action Plan which was published in July 2009. The routemaps were produced after consultation with stakeholders and form the basis for this Action Plan, along with the SDC Report. The routemaps are summary versions of this more detailed Action Plan. The headline aspirations of the routemaps are:

Vision

5.2 To build a commercially viable, diverse, renewable heat industry in Scotland in support of our 2020 renewable energy target and help tackle climate change. In doing so, to maximise the contribution of sustainable biomass to meet renewable heat target and reduce carbon emissions.

Ambitions

5.3 To at least meet the 11% target by 2020 through:

  • having space heating and hot water from renewable energy sources recognised as the first choice option for new developments in areas off the gas grid, and maximising opportunities for retrofitting;
  • having space heating and hot water from renewable energy sources representing a cost effective option in the rest of the country;
  • supporting the development of integrated local and regional community energy and utility cross-sectoral partnerships;
  • creating a flexible, future-proofed delivery infrastructure, allowing for technological, financial and structural innovation;
  • developing a supportive policy, planning and regulatory framework
  • substantial growth of bioenergy potential in Scotland in harmony with environmental and air quality obligations;
  • substantial increase in the uptake of heat from a range of bioenergy sources across the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors

Market sectors

5.4 All technological options and scales will need to play a part in the delivery of renewable heat, from microgeneration through to large scale industrial. The routemaps consider the heat sector at a strategic level. However, is it essential to drill down to the individual market sector level (domestic, commercial & public sector and industrial) to gain a better understanding of where support needs to be focussed in each sector in the short, medium and long term for maximum impact.

5.5 The diagram below estimates the level of renewable heat that each sector will contribute towards the 2020 target based on various assumptions. There is no substantive evidence to suggest that this will be the actual take up by the different sectors. It is the intention to further refine the data used in the future and work has already started. Part of the work that the SDC did for the Scottish Government included a database of all significant heat installations in Scotland and the database is updated on a regular basis. The introduction of a renewable heat incentive in April 2011 should further enhance the availability of data.

Figure 4: Indicative level of heat usage by market sector

Figure 4: Indicative level of heat usage by market sector

Notes: (1) The 2009 data is based on actual installations and output figures recorded in the Scottish Government/ SDC Renewable heat database.
(2) The interim ambition for 2014/2015 takes into consideration the renewable heat sources under construction, consented and in planning and assumes a similar sector breakdown to the 2009 levels.
(3) The 2020 target ambition is illustrated by sector using DECC estimates of contributions expected from each sector and the Scottish Government Renewable Heat Target.

5.6 Figure 4 above provides an illustrative estimate of the requirements from each sector to meet the Scottish renewable heat target. The key points are:

  • industrial sector - may contribute the largest percentage share of the 2020 target, estimated at around 45%.
  • commercial sector - expected make steady progress towards 2020 target, estimated percentage share is 33% which is in line with its share of heat demand.
  • domestic sector -percentage share of the 2020 target is low, estimated to be around 22%, compared to its share of heat demand, which is 51%. Expected to increase percentage share after 2020.
  • industrial and commercial users are the key target market in the short term, but with some 50% of Scotland's heat demand being in the domestic sector it is essential to initiate change in this area as quickly as possible, with a particular focus needed to tackle the 2.4 million existing properties.

Main sources of heat for each sector

5.7 The table below gives a summary of where the main sources of heat are likely to come from for each sector up to 2020. The same disclaimer applies as with the percentage market split assumptions: these are estimates and will be further refined as and when more robust data becomes available.

Table 4: Main Sources of Heat to 2020

Sector

2009

2012

2020

Industrial

Woodchip

Woodchip
Energy from Waste
Anaerobic Digestion
Pellets

Woodchip
Energy from Waste
Anaerobic Digestion
Pellets
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Air Source Heat Pumps

Commercial and Public

Woodchip

Woodchip
Pellets
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Air Source Heat Pumps
Solar Thermal

Woodchip
Pellets
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Solar Thermal
Air Source Heat Pumps
Biogas (direct injection)

Domestic

Log
Woodchip
Pellet
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Air Source Heat Pumps
Solar Thermal
Biomass District Heating

Log
Pellets
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Solar Thermal
Air Source Heat Pumps
Biomass District Heating
Anaerobic Digestion
Biogas (direct injection)

Pellets
Air Source Heat Pumps
Log
Solar Thermal
Biomass District Heating
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Biogas (direct injection)
Water Source Heat Pumps
Combined Heat & Power

Key points:

  • In the short to medium term, systems which use woody biomass are likely to be the most frequently employed technologies across all sectors.
  • Energy from waste, in all its various forms, represents a rapidly developing sector.
  • Moving towards 2020 will see a wider range of technologies being employed across all sectors as the take-up of renewable heat increases.
  • Urban and rural areas will have different needs. In rural areas off the gas grid individual solutions based on microrenewables such as biomass, solar thermal and heat pumps will be particularly important. In urban and semi urban locations there are greater opportunities for the use of renewable based district heating, and potentially biogas.

5.8 The above analysis is reinforced in the SDC Report, the Climate Change Delivery Plan and RAP which highlight the following areas as having a key role in reaching our renewable heat target for 2020:

SDC Report

  • Woodfuel, including CHP. There is very significant potential for a substantial increase in small to medium heat-only biomass. Meeting a further 2-3% of heat from small to medium scale installations by 2020 is feasible.
  • Energy from Waste. Thermal treatment of waste will have an important role to play in providing a sustainable means of waste treatment and energy generation. However, given that in waste policy the priority will remain action to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, SDC's assumption is that if 25% of suitable wastes (such as waste wood and other biological wastes suitable for anaerobic digestion) are used, this could provide just below 5% of Scotland's heating needs.
  • District heating. District heating already exists in locations throughout Scotland, and there is growing interest in the development of schemes in many parts of Scotland - both heat only and combined heat and power. Action to support district heating should be considered as part of the Government's work to stimulate low carbon heat sources. In the short term, district heating is likely to be developed at a smaller scale and in more rural and semi rural locations, or alongside energy from waste developments, and should be supported as part of any overall action on low carbon heat. Post 2020, switching to large scale district heating schemes in more urban areas to renewable heat is likely to occur.
  • In addition to the evidence given by the SDC Report, the Energy Saving Trust have produced a summary of the benefits and potential of distributed energy generation at the small community scale in Scotland 11. The report outlines the potential for all relevant renewables technologies at a district level, including district heating.
  • Micro-heat. To achieve the 2020 target, the majority of heat will come from large to medium scale installation. The shift to micro scale will take time as a typical boiler is only replaced every 15 years. Over the next 10 years a shift change will need to take place regarding the use of fossil fuel systems in new and refurbished homes. Forward trends indicate an increase in biomass heating of individual buildings becoming dominant in rural and some suburban areas, with waste or gas (supplemented by biomass) district heating dominant in urban areas, and solar thermal providing additional hot water in all situations. Heat pumps and electric heating will be a logical choice in very well insulated homes with minimal heat demand.

Climate Change Delivery Plan

  • We need to exploit the cost effective opportunities to develop renewable heat in areas such as off-gas-grid domestic properties and the small business sector, and in use of local heat networks in new housing developments.
  • We need to create the right conditions in which the choice of the householder or small business to invest in a low carbon heating source is no more unusual than purchasing a new gas or oil boiler.

Renewables Action Plan

Supporting Investments

  • In the short term, maximise the opportunities presented through Scottish Government grant programmes.
  • Ensure Scottish interests are taken into account when RHI is developed and introduced.

Building Scottish Supply Chain

  • Provide advice and assistance to emerging and new start-up supply chain companies.
  • Support business growth in, and diversification into, the renewable heat sector.
  • Facilitate targeted inward investment where required to address renewable heat supply chain needs.

Skills

  • Ensure the work carried out by the Scottish Renewable Energy Skills Group addresses the needs of the sector.
  • Ensure renewable heat training incorporates guidance on energy standards.

Changing behaviours and guidance

  • Provide clear concise information on key drivers, opportunities and support available to encourage both high heat users and the public sector to convert to renewable heat technology.
  • Ensure best practice information on energy efficiency is available alongside renewable heat information.
  • Facilitate opportunity to enable interested bodies to learn from early adopters, including publication of case studies.

Energy from Waste

  • Enable the creation and growth of CHP and/or heat networks in relation to energy from waste facilities with the aim of improving the competitiveness of business locations.
  • Enforce thermal treatment guidelines to ensure energy from waste plants, treating any form of waste aim to capture the heat efficiently and seek markets for the heat.

UK Position

5.9 The UK Government published a Renewable Energy Strategy12 in July 2009. The strategy states that UK heat supply is dominated by non-renewable technologies, with around 1% of total heat demand supplied by renewable sources. Independent analysis undertaken to inform the Strategy confirmed that there is a large, cost-effective, potential for biomass heat with particular significance in the non-domestic sector. Heat pumps could also play a more important role than previously estimated, while biomethane injection into the gas grid is also recognised as a technology which could offer significant levels of renewable heat.

Summary

5.10 We now have a good understanding of how the sector is likely to develop over the short to medium term. It presents a considerable opportunity for growth in the number of skilled trades people to manufacture, install and maintain the equipment e.g. boilers, heat pumps, solar collectors and insulated pipe work for district heating networks, along with further job creation through an anticipated increase in demand for biomass. It is therefore important to ensure that there is the capacity to provide the necessary professional services including designers, specifiers, building service engineers and planners.

5.11 The initial capital cost for purchase and installation of the required equipment can be quite considerable compared with fossil fuel systems, particularly district heating networks. This represents both a barrier to uptake, and an opportunity for business in driving innovation on cost reduction. Financial assistance to support renewable heat technologies is currently provided through a number of Scottish Government grant schemes. Further support, is provided under the Renewable Obligation where biomass CHP plants receive 2 Renewable Obligation Certificates of electricity per MWh generated. The introduction of the RHI which is proposed for April 2011 should help to stimulate demand at the scale necessary to meet the 2020 target.

Case Studies: Examples of Scottish Government supporting renewable heat across market sectors

Tullis Russell, Markinch, Glenrothes: Biomass Plant

A new 45 megawatt combined heat and power biomass plant in Markinch, Glenrothes, has been secured with Scottish Government Regional Selective Assistance ( RSA) support of £8.1 million.

The joint venture will be built and operated by RWE npower Cogen, creating 30 new jobs, and will provide Tullis Russell with steam and electricity, safeguarding a further 540 jobs while reducing the paper mill's carbon emissions by around 250,000 tonnes each year. The new plant is a significant investment in Scotland and pays testament to our competitive advantage in terms of skills and workforce and the development of energy supplies that are cleaner, greener and economically competitive.

Newvalley Housing, Western Isles: Ground Source Heat Pumps

Muirneag Housing Association have installed ground source heat pumps and under floor heating in six out of 14 housing units constructed during the first phase of a new housing development in Newvalley, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. A Scottish Government SCHRI grant of £62,246 contributed to the total capital costs of £115,431. Total installed capacity is 39kW. The heat pumps provide 100% of the space and domestic hot water requirements of each unit.

A Scottish & Southern Energy RSPB Green Tariff has been negotiated with the electricity supplier to supply the heat pump households, thus achieving a totally green power and heating system for the six housing units. Commissioning of the project includes a short technical introduction to each of the occupants regarding the proper and most efficient way to use heat pumps.

Aboyne Academy: Biomass Boiler

The Aboyne Academy site includes an academy, primary school, indoor swimming pool, library, theatre and community centre. Heat was provided by oil fired boilers at a cost of £90,000 for year 2004/05.

The oil fired boilers were replaced by a biomass boiler. The plant, consists of a 600kW Kohlbach boiler, complies with the EN 303 -5 standard and the Clean Air Act. The new boilers have been added to the building energy management system for remote monitoring, with the fuel coming from local sawmills (there are two in the vicinity).

Financial savings are anticipated to be in excess £20,000 per year which represents a 20% saving to Aberdeenshire Council, A Scottish Government SCHRI grant of £25,939 contributed towards the costs of the project.

Albyn Housing Association, Academy Lane, Alness, North Highland: Solar Thermal

Albyn Housing Society provides affordable and modern housing for those on low incomes in areas where there is a shortage of housing. This project sees the provision of 30 starter homes in regeneration areas in Alness, Easter Ross, which includes 28 solar arrays installed by Inverness based company Everwarm (North) Ltd.

108 residents will benefit from properties with a significant proportion of their hot water requirements, lower heating costs and reducing CO2 emissions. The total cost of the project was £57,887 which included a Scottish Government SCHRI grant of £23,115 and match funding from Communities in Scotland of £34,672. Estimated carbon savings are 151.6 tonnes of carbon each year, saving £7,661. Albyn Housing has set a leading example and provided a visible demonstration of what can be achieved.

Beyond 2020

5.12 The Climate Change Delivery Plan and the SDC report have made some assumptions about how the renewable heat sector might develop in Scotland up to 2050. The key points are:

  • the transformational outcome for the heat sector will be a largely de-carbonised heat sector by 2050 with significant progress by 2030 through a combination of reduced demand and energy efficiency, together with a massive increase in the use of renewable and low-carbon heating.
  • Meeting Scotland's 2050 carbon reduction target will require heating in Scotland to be almost zero carbon by that time.
  • The focus needs to change to low carbon heat and move away from separating renewable and non-renewable heat. This will be critical to meeting commitments under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.
  • It is likely that electricity generation will make use of 'waste' heat which will result in more localised forms of generation suited to CHP, and making use of generated heat.
  • A significant proportion of industry and homes will likely be connected to city-wide heat mains, with heat a metered commodity like electricity or water.
  • New sources of heat might include deep geothermal mines.
  • Fuel cells may become the dominant type of generation for biomass CHP, possibly running on biogas that will be fed into existing gas network.
  • Heat planning is likely to become a important role of local government and or possibly utilities
  • In 2050 each unit of heat delivered to a building will go further - insulation will be such that heating demand in new homes will be less than 10% of the current average.