HOT|COOL NO. 1/2020 - "How to District Energize your City"

Guy Milligan is Principal Consultant in Ramboll’s UK energy division and leads on energy strategy and plan- ning, guiding clients’ ambitious future energy systems and infrastructure to meet net-zero carbon targets.

Since 1990 greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland have fallen by almost 50% driven by the power sector. And this was just the beginning. ‘The Climate Change Act 2019' introduced a net-zero target for all greenhouse gases in Scotland – only possible if district heating networks being rolled out at scale now. District heating is a proven way of delivering efficient, low carbon heat on a large-scale, which makes it a potentially valuable contributor to Scotland’s 2045 ‘net zero’ target. As such, there has been growing interest and support in district heating fromScottish Government. Public/private partnerships have increased, enabling the reach and scale of networks to be more ambitious and thereby increase the level of carbon savings. This article examines policies supporting district

heating in Scotland, describes the current market for district heating, and the opportunity for growth, and presents some examples of pioneering low carbon district heating projects in Scotland. The road to Net-Zero is under construction Potential for District Heating (DH) is large as penetration of DH in the UK is only 2% and Government research suggests that 14-20% of UK heat demand could be cost-effectively met by heat networks by 2030 and 43% by 2050. The main energy source used in UK heat networks today is natural gas and will have to shift towards zero carbon energy sources, notably biomass, heat pumps and industrial surplus heat recovery.

1 Market Report: heat networks in the UK. ADE (2018).

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