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Scotland gets low-carbon cosy

Published: 7 Oct 2016 10:00

More renewable heat than ever before.

More Scottish homes and businesses are seeing the benefit of renewable heat, according to new figures.

New figures published today by the Energy Saving Trust, on behalf of the Scottish Government, estimate that last year saw the largest annual increase in renewable heat output since measurement began in 2008 – up by over 1,100 GWh in a single year.

In 2015, the proportion of non-electrical heat demand generated in Scotland from renewable sources is expected to be at least 5.3%, up from 3.8% in 2014 and a continuation of year-on-year increases since 2008/2009.The majority of the increase in output has come from large commercial sites installing biomass and combined heat and power systems and from installations supported by the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

However, renewable heat capacity in homes, including small-scale biomass as well as other increasingly popular technologies such as heat pumps, has also risen – with capacity growing by a very impressive 44% between 2014 and 2015.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said:

"With Autumn well underway, and the weather getting noticeably cooler, families and businesses across Scotland will, no doubt, be considering turning on their heating for the cooler weather ahead. "Heat makes up more than 50% of Scotland's current energy consumption and approximately 47% of our emissions - the largest source for both.

"That is why these record-breaking figures are so encouraging. They show that programmes such as the District Heating Loan Scheme, the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and the Home Energy Scotland renewables loans scheme are inspiring people to harness renewable energy to heat their homes and their businesses. These and our other programmes support the uptake of the GB wide Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, in which Scotland continues to punch above its weight.

"That is not to say we should be in any way complacent. We have a target of 11% of non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources by 2020 and while these figures show we are making great progress in both reducing our demand for heat and increasing the output of renewable heat we need to do more. So, these figures also highlight there is much more work to do to reduce demand, supply heat more efficiently and increase the role renewable heat plays in Scotland's energy mix. That's why we continue to develop new and existing avenues of support in this important area and this will be reflected in our forthcoming Energy Strategy."

Background

The report by the Energy Saving Trust, "Renewable Heat in Scotland, 2015" was published at 10 am on 7 October, it is available at the following link –

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/reports/161006_Renewable%20Heat%20in%20Scotland%202015_FINAL.pdf

Key points on Renewable Heat for 2015

• 2015 has seen the largest increase in renewable heat output since measurement began in 2008-09.

• In 2015 Scotland generated an estimated 5.3 – 5.6% of its non-electrical heat demand from renewable sources. This is based on 3 possible heat demand scenarios, explained in more detail in Energy Saving Trust's report.

• In 2015 there was an estimated 1.504 GW of renewable heat capacity in operation in Scotland, (up 47% from 2014), producing an estimated 4,165 GWh of useful renewable heat in the 2015 calendar year, an increase of 37% from 2014.

• The majority of the increase came from large scale commercial sites supported by the RHI (total capacity of large installations increased by 45% between 2014 and 2015, while output increased by 27%).

• Scotland continues to do well from the RHI both for domestic and non-domestic installations, accounting for around 20% and 19% respectively of all accredited installations.

• Micro heat capacity also increased by 44% between 2014 and 2015.

Also published today is the Scottish Government's report to parliament providing a summary of these figures and action taken to support meeting its target to meet 11% of Scotland's non-electrical heat demand by 2020. This is available at the following link – http://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781786525222.

Notes to editors

Contact Peter John Meiklem : 0131 244 3069 / 07815703299