View Full Version : Tapping renewable energy sources

15-Jun-11, 17:32
Putting the Highlands' renewable
energy potential on the map

A NEW heat map, the first of its kind in Scotland, has been developed to help identify opportunities for properties in the Highlands to be heated using renewable energy sources.
Highland Council, working with partners and consultants, has developed the map, which is the first at local authority level in Scotland to provide users with tools to examine and probe opportunities for renewable heat at a local scale. It takes into account issues such as heat demand, potential heat supply and skills and technology available in an areaThe project has been funded by the Scottish Government and led by a joint steering group with representatives from Highland Council, the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Consultants AECOM were commissioned to develop the heat map.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of the Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: “The Highland Heat Map provides the Council with a ground-breaking, powerful tool with which to identify renewable heat opportunities and test development scenarios in any part of the local authority’s area. Understanding the spatial dimension of heat demand and supply is vital to inform our policies, projects and initiatives and assists in identifying opportunities.”
The Heat Map will be used across a range of the Council’s functions. For example, in Planning and Development it will be used in the preparation of the Local Development Plans to assess and compare site options for development by helping understand the impacts of new development on heat demand within an area. The heat map predicts future heat demand using the proposal details.
In Housing and Property the heat map can provide useful information at regional and local level to inform management and investment in the Council’s housing stock and other property.
For Waste Management there will be opportunity for information from the heat map to be considered in reviewing the Council’s waste management strategy in the light of Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan.
The heat map is expected to be of use in a range of other work such as promotion, education, renewable energy and technology.
Senior Business Development Manager Andrew Patience of HIE’s energy team said: “The heat map is a crucial tool in the promotion of renewable heat in the Highlands, which as a region suffers disproportionally from higher fossil fuel prices and being off the gas grid.
“Whilst the tool will help support homes in the transition to renewable forms of energy, it will also further inform owners of industrial and commercial premises on how best to take advantage of Government incentives (Renewable Obligations, Feed in Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive). This transition has the potential to create a whole new market and associated supply chain.
“The Heat Mapping exercise will also enable investors to make an informed decision in selecting the renewable heat devices suitable for their premises and help to promote inward investment to the Highlands.”
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland is warming to renewable heating but we need to accelerate the use of green technologies to meet our target of 11% of heat to come from renewables by 2020. The mapping tool will help all councils identify opportunities to maximise the use of heat in planned new developments, helping councils plan local heat strategies as well as maximising economic benefits by incorporating local skills and services.”
As a pilot for such heat mapping work, which is identified in the Renewable Heat Action Plan for Scotland, the Highland Heat Map Project has provided an approach which can be repeated by local authorities throughout Scotland. A template is now available which outlines key stages in preparing a heat map.
Kenny Monteath, Associate Director from AECOM explains: “Working with such a forward thinking client team ensured that the development process for the Highland Map was pioneering, culminating in a landmark product. The key strengths of the Highland Map are its repeatable methodology and accessibility. The methodology was designed to facilitate other local authorities adopting and implementing their own Heat Maps, contributing to the Scottish Government reaching its renewable heat targets. The accessibility of the main sources of information for the Highland Map and other future Heat Maps at a national level will play a pivotal role in formulating national policies.”

Councillor Ross added: “We move forward now to the practical application of the Heat Map and the Council will produce guidelines for its use. The Heat Map has been designed to be updateable and also repeatable, so we anticipate local authorities across Scotland benefiting from this pilot and for it to be a tool of lasting worth. The Council and its partners are grateful to those who have provided ideas or data for inclusion in the Heat Map. We have begun sharing information about the project with other organisations and we will identify and act upon opportunities to further develop the heat map in the future.”