The recovery of heat from power generation in Scotland: study

This study examines the technical and financial prospects for recovery of heat from four sites used for large scale fossil fuel power generation and then explores policies that could help make the recovery of heat a more practical option.

Appendix 3: Responses from Planners

Feedback from planners

The planning system can support the decarbonisation of electricity generation in Scotland, the uptake of local district heating schemes and the use of recovered heat in other potential uses. A questionnaire was sent to planners to provide information on the status quo, future plans and perceptions of the barriers to heat recovery

Table 39 Local authority action to support the uptake of local district heating and the use of recovered heat

Falkirk Council
Local Plan Local Plan policy EQ6 supports combined heat and power and community heating schemes as part of new development and policy ST20 offers general support to utilisation of renewable energy sources in new development. A current proposal, being determined by Sc Govt, for a biomass plant in Grangemouth Docks has a district heating component option to it.
The MIR The MIR for our new LDP(local development plan) is not due to be published until summer 2011 and we are currently formulating the key issues for the Council which will be raised under the umbrella of Climate Change.
Example Retrofitting infrastructure for use of waste heat from Grangemouth industrial complex for use in local housing and public buildings - the potential for exploiting this has been explored on a number of occasions but unfortunately has not resulted in proposals or action to date
Heat Mapping Briefing paper & GIS work undertaken. Further work may be undertaken later this year as part of the Joint Ayrshire Waste procurement project. (funding still to be confirmed)
The Structure Plan The Structure Plan identifies a search area in the key diagram and an opportunity to develop a co-fired power plan based on clean coal technology. The coalfield area of East Ayrshire is recognised as having particular opportunities for this type of energy production. Refer Policy ECON 8-Biomass.
Fife Council
Development plan

The council supports a variety of renewable technologies in its development plan policies. Whilst there are no specific policies related to waste heat and district heating there is support in principle for the technology where it does not impact negatively on communities and where it can operate safely and efficiently. Options on this are being explored for the development of Fife's Strategic Land Allocations which are allocated in the Approved Structure Plan and the emerging local plans.

The Council has planning guidance on renewables which can be accessed at:

Furthermore the council has a sustainability checklist which is being used to guide future major development to be more sustainable. This can be accessed at:

Heat mapping There is recognition of the value of heat demand and supply mapping within Fife council as this facilitates the allocation of land for development use where there would be potential for uptake of these technologies.
Supplementary planning guidance Supplementary planning guidance is in development for Lochgelly. The community indicated a desire to be more sustainable and reduce carbon emissions. As such consideration is being given to the inclusion of positive encouragement for these technologies at a local level.
Energy Strategy An energy strategy is being developed for Fife Council, which may consider the potential for utilisation of these technologies.

Tullis Russell biomass plant, Glenrothes-A 49.9 MW £200 million state-of-the-art biomass plant development which will be owned and operated by RWE npower renewables. This will provide Tullis Russell Papermakers with steam, which it needs for paper drying, as well as electricity. The plant will also supply significant low carbon renewable power to the national grid. This project helps to safeguard the 540 jobs at the company whilst reducing the papermill's fossil fuel CO 2 emissions by around 250,000 tonnes each year. Options are being explored for the creation of a district heating scheme for Glenrothes on the back of the biomass plant development. This is being led by Fife Council who has to date undertaken preliminary work to present an outline economic model enabling the Council to decide on whether to proceed to full feasibility study with the project.

Major housing and business allocations in the Glenrothes area, including the 1,000 residential units proposed for the Glenrothes East/ Markinch SLA could feed into this proposal. Major developments and regeneration proposals for the town centre could also potentially benefit from the scheme.


Lochhead landfill waste treatment scheme- 43,000 tonnes of food and garden waste would go to produce renewable power and heat. It is estimated that every year the unit, an anaerobic digestion facility, could save £1.2 million and produce 1.4 MW of electricity and heating.

It could also reduce carbon emissions of up to 11,000 tonnes a year; produce sufficient renewable electricity to meet the needs of 1500 homes; generate enough heat to meet most of the needs of Queen Margaret Hospital; and produce up to 15,000 litres of liquid fertiliser and 10,000 tonnes of compost per year for use by local farms. There will be an opportunity in the future to produce refined biofuel for injection into the gas main and for use as vehicle fuel.


Ore Valley HA 'Cardenden Heat and Power' ( CHAP) is a renewable energy project that aims to deliver affordable heating and hot water to the tenants and residents of Cardenden. The project will be rolled out in stages across the town. Biomass fuel will be used for the scheme and will come from recycled waste wood and sustainably grown crops. In the unlikely event of wood not being available at any stage, such as in times of repair, gas would be used. Ore Valley Housing Association and Fife Council are the primary stakeholders with the project being managed by Energetic Project Management.

A power plant would be built in close proximity to Cardenden and a network of hot water pipes will be installed throughout the town. Each connected home would have its boiler replaced with a heat exchanger which would then link in with the existing heating system. Once the heat has been utilised, the colder water would be returned for re-use and re-heating.

Clac kmannanshire

The MIR consultation ended in March 2011. This placed a strong emphasis on climate change mitigation and one of the main issues identified, and consulted upon, was "How can we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the consequences of climate change". The MIR contained a range of options related to Decentralised Energy, Decarbonised Energy Generation and Low Carbon Development. These can be viewed on the Clac kmannanshire Council website at:

The potential of re-use of heat to significantly reduce energy waste, increase efficiency, reduce costs for energy users and contribute to climate change mitigation is acknowledged in the MIR. Following recent discussion with Kristen Anderson and Rosie Leven it has been agreed that the Local Development Plan should contain specific proposals relating to waste heat. We also intend to investigate the scope for specific proposals on district heating.

SEAP Use of comprehensive energy master planning / sustainable energy action planning
Local Development Plan Promotion of Local Development Plan ( LDP) polices for decentralised energy or use of supplementary planning guidance. LDP policy could outline the scale of development at which the Council expects developments to implement or connect to decentralised energy technologies such as districted heating or combined heat and power. Will allow planning applications to be conditioned to provide pipes or retro fit existing properties.
Grant Funding Seek additional funding to be made available through the various grant programmes. Additional funding specifically for Council's to enable the set-up of public sector led ESCo's. Continued support for Renewable Heat through the Renewables Obligation.

Table 40 The most significant barriers to the recovery of heat from large scale energy generation capacity in Scotland, as identified by the planners

Proximity to heat demand
1 Proximity of heat demand (for existing energy plants)
2 Larger scale power generation facilities which are often located at sites isolated from the major built up areas.
3 Proximity to power station of suitable building stock.
4 Land use planning difficulties in allowing integration of heat users and heat generators
5 Planning - location of energy plants away from heat demands
6 Existing building plant in suitable buildings may not be inefficient enough to warrant this.
7 The distance between the fossil fuel plants and main settlements, which would require an extensive new pipeline network to be created
1 Limited financial incentive and uncertainty in appropriate business models for the construction and ongoing maintenance of facilities.
2 Financing of heat infrastructure - banks not willing to debt fund.
3 Financial considerations/lack of clarity over investment against returns
4 Long term pay back periods are a significant constraint
Fragmentation of ownership
1 Discontinuity between supplier and customers, fragmentation of ownership - probably works best with large single social housing estates or similar
2 Disparate ownership of land, property, generation, transmission, maintenance responsibilities.
3 Responsibility for maintaining infrastructure
Lack of exemplars
1 Lack of current projects that have undertaken heat recovery schemes from power stations.
2 A mindset and culture not tuned to this form of heat source. Limited skills and understanding of the technology.
3 Mindset and culture not tuned to this form of heat source.
Inertia: resistance to change
1 Inertia: resistance to change
2 Lack of ambition to change tried and tested processes
Lack of community engagement
1 Making local communities aware such schemes are planned/ installed
2 Providing local residents with simple explanations of benefits when installed
Restrict choice of electricity suppliers
1 Decentralisation of heat supply could (allegedly) restrict choice of electricity suppliers for householders (an issue raised by house builders with East Lothian Council)
2 Issues around single user use and spreading of risk amongst multiple users.
Perception of being dirty
1 Potential perception of problems of secondary heat and associated industrial processes being "dirty"
Absence of infrastructure
1 Absence of infrastructure
Lack of willingness to act
1 Agreement with power station to do this, including pricing.
Fiscal policies
1 Fiscal policies
1 Risk averseness of businesses requiring reliable heat supply over long timescale
Heat efficiency in both ends of the equation
1 Heat efficiency in both ends of the equation
Opposition to biomass
1 Public opposition to biomass plants
Limited skills and understanding of the technology.
1 Limited skills and understanding of the technology.
Commercial sensitivity
1 Commercial sensitivity regarding industrial estate & processes
Lack of leadership
1 Lack of lead agency on initiative
Lack of certainly about heat availability
1 Lack of long term certainty about excess heat generation
Difficulties in retro-fitting heating systems
1 Difficulties in retro-fitting heating systems to existing dwellings and business premises, which form the vast bulk of the building stock.

Table 41 The most important policy and support measures to encourage recovery of heat from large scale power generation, as identified by the planners

1 Infrastructure funding
2 Price certainty for a period of time.
3 A supportive tariff regime to encourage this form of heat source - extension of RHI
4 Resource to carry out feasibility study.
5 A supportive tariff regime to encourage this form of heat source.
6 Provision of funding mechanism to pump prime district heating developments
7 Financial incentives and or pump priming needs to be available to encourage change
8. Tariffs to support development of approach.
Planning policy
1 Including this form of heat source in building regulations and planning policy. National Planning Framework and associated Scottish Planning Policy support would assist. Inclusion within planning conditions for refurbished/extended/extended life/new stations.
2 Locating heat producers where there is a market for waste heat recovery
3 Ensuring that large scale power generators are designed to be capable of exporting waste heat at commissioning stage (whether or not there is a current market)
4 National attitudes and supportive policies need to be promoted
5 Planning in favour of low carbon heat supply
6 Support for adjoining development proposals through the planning process ( and amended Local plan policies to consider such developments)subject to appropriate use of Surplus heat
7 It is understood that there are some structural issues with the development of district heating schemes that would need to be tackled.
Education of public
1 Education of public re. benefits and risks of biomass plants
2 Clarity over impact of waste heat on choice of electricity suppliers for residential customers
3 More advice provided on the benefits of using such technology.
4 Improving education on the subject to ensure there are the skills and understanding of the major issues to take projects forward.
1 Large scale demonstration projects to show potential and explore operational issues.
2 Greater evidence of the advantages of heat recovery, financial and technical feasibility
3 More advice provided on the benefits of using such technology . Support to developers and communities to enable and gain positive benefit from uptake (Community Energy Scotland).
4 A government pilot scheme
Framework agreement with the power station
1 Formal framework agreement with the power stations.
2 It should not be limited to large scale power generation as there is a need to think more efficiently about all development
Energy strategy.
1 A direct lead by the Scottish Government through an energy strategy.
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