Last year saw the largest annual increase in renewable heat output in Scotland 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 2008-09.
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 44% between 2014 and 2015.
Greater use of heat-pumps to provide renewable-energy power for domestic heating – such as made by Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy – has already been recommended for inclusion in the Scot-Govt’s emerging new Scottish Energy Strategy by Scotland’s Renewable Energy Forum.
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“Heat makes up more than 50% of Scotland’s current energy consumption and approximately 47% of our emissions – the largest source for both – so that is why these new 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.
“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 – and this will be reflected in our forthcoming <Scottish> Energy Strategy.”