A district heating scheme comprises a network of insulated pipes used to deliver heat, in the form of hot water or steam, from the point of generation to end users. The heat is generated in a centralised location, often in a combined heat and power (CHP) station which also generates electricity. These CHP stations are often powered by gas but increasingly biomass, and heat-only boilers, geothermal heating and central solar heating are also used.
An integrated approach might use a range of heat options, including CHP, both gas and biomass-fired, in more built-up areas, but once district heating networks are established geothermal heat, waste heat from industrial processes, heat pumps using boreholes or rivers, solar heat, and so on can also be used.
For more information on District Heating see the Cumbria Action for Sustainability Factsheet.
Heat mapping (a spatial matching of potential supply with demand) has been highlighted as a key tool to encourage local planning authorities to maximise opportunities for local heat use. The Scottish Government funded a heat mapping pilot in the Highland Council area which was published in June 2011. The methodology used in the pilot was then replicated by other local authorities in order to help embed renewable energy at the centre of local strategic planning. Fife and Perth and Kinross councils have been using the methodology from the pilot to undertake mapping in their areas.(1)
A Scotland Heat Map is now being developed by the Scottish Government to identify the opportunities for efficient heat supply projects and support their development.(2)
Cumbrian local authorities could secure funding to carry out a County-wide heat mapping exercise and use the findings to develop a renewable heat strategy based on diverse technologies.
- Renewable Heat Action Plan 2011 Update, Scottish Government 2011
- Towards Decarbonising Heat: Maximising the Opportunities for Scotland. Draft Heat Generation Policy Statement, Scottish Government March 2014