Potential heat network zones: first national assessment

Analysis to identify and characterise potential zones for heat networks in Scotland. It provides further detail on the analysis criteria, assessment methodology, limitations, definitions and the interpretation of the outputs.

6 Concluding remarks and next steps

The FNA has used national datasets to carry out a first-pass assessment to identify areas that might be suited to heat network development from a heat demand density perspective. The analysis used different settings to identify potential zones, giving a range of outputs that might be appropriate for different local authority geographies. Substantial heat demand is identified in potential heat network zones using both the Baseline (25.7 TWh/yr) and Stringent (13.7 TWh/yr) criteria. These totals include all heat demands falling within potential zones – the total heat demands within potential zones if only anchor loads are considered are 14.1 TWh/yr for Baseline and 9.3 TWh/yr for Stringent. The analysis does not consider economic factors, detailed technical factors or the stakeholder related aspects of heat network project development within potential zones – significant further work is therefore required to establish the viability of project development within the potential zones identified by the FNA.

The FNA is framed by two key policy drivers: the ongoing development of Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) and the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021 (the 2021 Act). Within this context the work aimed to support the development of policy and regulations, including informing the Heat Networks Delivery Plan (as detailed in the 2021 Act) and the local identification of potential zones for heat networks as part of LHEES. The work may also be used to support wider policy development.

Regarding LHEES, the local authority specific analysis provided by the FNA (and shared with local authorities as part of the LHEES National Assessment outputs) is intended to support local authorities to work towards their requirements within LHEES in regard to heat networks. The LHEES process includes local consideration of potential zones outputs, bringing in local knowledge to sense-check anchor loads and other factors such as local development plan sites, existing heat network connections within potential zones and other requirements as set out in the 2021 Act, refreshing the outputs as required.

This work has also informed updates to the LHEES process, and these will feed-in to ongoing development of the LHEES methodology.



Back to top