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Biomass heat encouraged in new Scottish Government report

In the latest review of heat generation in Scotland  ‘Towards Decarbonising Heat: Maximinising Opportunities for Scotland‘, the Scottish Government outlines its support for biomass heat.

Heat in the Energy System

The report says ‘ Heat is at the core of Scotland’s energy system. It is the biggest element of our energy use (over 55%), and the largest source of our emissions (47%). We spend £2.6 billion annually on heating and cooling our homes and businesses in Scotland. The Scottish renewable heat sector is growing with an estimated turnoverof £2.7 billion by 2020. The Scottish Government is committed to largely decarbonising our energy system by 2050, at an affordable price to consumers through maintaining and developing secure supplies of energy.

The challenges facing Scotland are to:

  • largely decarbonise its heat system by 2050, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • diversify its sources of heat generation and supply to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and therefore support a resilient heat supply;
  • reduce the pressure on household and business energy bills through reducing heat demand and providing affordable heat, in particular supporting the fuel poor’.

The report states that the Scottish Government will place energy efficiency at the heart of the approach they will take to decarbonise the whole energy system, by designating energy efficiency as an National Infrastructure Priority.

It also reemphasises its ambition to achieve 1.5 TWh of Scotland’s heat demand to be delivered by district or communal heating and to have 40,000 homes connectedby 2020.

Commitment to RHI

As part of the plans the Scottish Government will continue to press the UK Government to commit to the long term sustainability of the RHI beyond 2015/16 to provide confidence for funders and stimulate investment in renewable heat technologies.

Cross cutting activity

They will also work with Resource Efficient Scotland and partners to develop a Scottish specific summary of the UK’s heat intensive industry decarbonisation road map in Autumn 2015. This will inform an agreed programme of industrial decarbonisation for the cement, ceramics, chemicals, food & drink, glass, oilrefining, paper & pulp, retail, and steel sectors.

Heat-only Biomass

In terms of biomass the report says  “We would prefer to see biomass used in heat-only or good quality combined heat and power schemes, off gas-grid wherever possible, and at a scale appropriate to make best use of both the available heat, and of local supply.”

You can read the full report ‘Towards Decarbonising Heat: Maximinising Opportunities for Scotland” here

James Eades

By: James Eades

Operations Director, James Eades is EnergyMyWay's in-house expert on renewable energy policy, microgeneration technologies and best practice in the renewable energy industry.