Citywide vision for District Heating in Scotland
Vattenfall is working with cities, developers, delivery partners, and supply chains to assess the long-term opportunities for large-scale district heating (DH) and transform them into reality. In the UK, we have been focused on London, Edinburgh, and Bristol as core cities to establish heat networks. We are now also setting a similar focus on Glasgow.
Author Paul Steen, Regional Director Scotland and North of England, Vattenfall Heat UK
We envision these heat networks to become integrated ener- gy solutions that maximize value for the client and consumers and build sustainable, profitable heat networks. We have the resources and experience to take on long-term risk, reduce un- knowns and establish DH clusters that are intended to expand and grow to connect and to decarbonize large areas of cities. We are taking tactical approaches to deliver our strategy in these cities that come at a critically important time when the UK and Scottish Government are progressing an ambitious policy for heat decarbonization and legislating District Heat- ing. In the context of these policy and regulatory changes, our work means that there is an opportunity to significantly impact the future economy, society, and environment across the UK. There are many valuable experiences based on many years of development in Northern Europe and coming forward over recent years in the UK. These have shown how we can tackle these challenges with oversight and continuous development of strategies or heat plans that define the overarching techni- cal parameters and commercial principles. Sir Norman Foster stated that "Joseph Bazalgette created a sewer system which he originally sized for London's needs of the time - he then doubled it to anticipate the future beyond. These are the quali- ties that I admire." DH could be crucial for decarbonization as the sewer system did for prevalent diseases in the 1800s. The strategy will be delivered through a series of tactical in- terventions. These will evolve through the pipeline of projects to provide the programs of infrastructure investment. Zon- ing plays a vital role in the tactical approaches used to clarify
future heat decarbonization pathways and, for example, in defining concession zones.
The strategy and tactical implementation are bound together by the frameworks and institutions that govern, deliver and op- erate the systems. Regulation will strengthen and coordinate a framework of multi-stakeholder institutions. An example is Midlothian's Joint Venture (JV) with Vattenfall bringing value into the JV that each public and private sector partner can get. Midlothian Council has the convening power to determine rel- evant policy such as concession zones, building assets, and an obligation to decarbonize, while Vattenfall brings commercial, delivery, and operational capabilities. The National Planning Framework and Local Planning policy can drive developers to engage with DH at a national level. As significant demand ag- gregators, local authorities can also develop locally appropriate procurement of organizations capable of delivering the vision. We are in a JV with Midlothian Council to deliver heat from the considerable energy from waste-to-energy (WtE) plants in the southeast of the city. Beginning construction next year, we are developing a heat network that will take heat from the WtE plant and supply the Shawfair development and extending into Edinburgh. We have good visibility of 20,000 home equiv- alents, or HEQ (acquiring existing networks, new connections to retrofit buildings, and new developments). We intend to ex- tend the network into Edinburgh with a vision of connecting widely through the City. Our network will run through some of the poorest areas in Edinburgh, bringing them affordable, high quality, low carbon heat and supporting the regeneration of these areas.
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