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Record increase for renewable heat

Published: 9 Oct 2015 11:23

Amount generated from renewables rises by over a third.

The amount of heat generated by renewable sources in Scotland grew by 36 per cent during 2014.

New figures published today by the Energy Saving Trust, on behalf of the Scottish Government, estimate over 1 gigawatt of renewable heat capacity in operation in Scotland in 2014. This accounts for around an estimated 3.8 per cent of the total non-electrical heat demand.

This report, covering heat from heat pumps (ground and air) biomass, waste and solar thermal, is used to measure progress towards the Scottish Government's target of 11 per cent heat coming from renewables by 2020.

Also, non-electrical heat demand in Scotland reduced by 2 per cent in 2013 (the most recent year data is available for), to just over 82,000 GWh.

Earlier this year the Scottish Government published its Heat Policy Statement which aims to largely decarbonise the heat system by 2050. This sets out how Scotland might use less energy for heat, and how low carbon heat can reach more householders, business and communities and a clear framework in investment in the future of heat in Scotland.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

"I am pleased 2014 has seen the biggest step change in heat demand generated from renewable sources, a significant step forward to decarbonising heating.

"We are committed in helping support households and business across become more energy efficient and use more low carbon and renewable heat sources.

"There is however continuing uncertainty about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which the UK Government have not commitment to beyond March 2016. We will continue to press for commitment to the long term sustainability of the RHI beyond next year to provide confidence for funders and stimulate investment in renewable heat technologies.

Scottish Government has its own programmes such as our Home Renewables Loan Scheme, Resource Efficiency Scotland and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme to provide support to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies.

"Meeting our target remains challenging, particularly as we don't have the full range of drivers within our competence. However I remain confident the actions set out in the Heat Policy Statement will help drive the pace of change."

Notes to editors

The report by the Energy Saving Trust, "Renewable Heat in Scotland, 2014 was published at 10 am on 9 October, it is available at the following link - http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-heat-report-2014.

Key points on Renewable Heat for 2014

  • 2014 has seen the biggest increase in heat output to date.
  • In 2014 Scotland generated an estimated 3.7 – 3.8% of its non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources.
  • In 2014 there was over 1 GW of renewable heat capacity in operation in Scotland, (up 42% from 2013), producing approximately 3 GWh of useful renewable heat in the 2014, an increase of 36% from 2013.
  • The capacity of micro renewable heat generating systems installed in Scotland grew by a third in 2014 to around 0.19GW and the number of micro systems operational by the end of 2014 was estimated to be over 9,600.
  • To date Scotland has done well from the RHI both for domestic and non-domestic installations, accounting for around 19% of accredited installations. Ofgem latest data suggests Scotland received in the region of £71 million for non-domestic installations since the scheme started in November 2011.

Renewable Heat Incentive

The RHI is a UK policy, administered by Ofgem, and potentially worth over £90 million to Scotland over 4 years. For non-domestic RHI tariff payments are made over 20 years, and are based on eligible heat use which is metered on actual generation or use. Ofgem figures suggest that to the end of September 2015 around £71 million has been paid to non-domestic RHI accredited installations in Scotland.

Scotland has generated around 19% of the reported renewable heat under the non-domestic RHI and accounts for 18% of accredited installations. As at August 2015 there were over 2,260 non-domestic RHI accredited installations in Scotland.

The domestic RHI scheme opened on 9 April 2014. The domestic RHI is targeted at, but not limited to, homes off the gas grid. Those without mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and decrease carbon emissions. The tariffs are payable over seven years. As at August 2015:

  • There have been 8063 accreditations for Scotland to date (including legacy applications).
  • Air Source Heat Pumps and Ground Source heat pumps account for 54.9 % of accreditations in Scotland (45.5% and 9.4%) at August 2015, with biomass being the second most popular at 34.2% (August 2015).