This project looks at the potential impacts of electrifying a proportion of heat demand, and examines specific technology types against a range of criteria. It also developed a user-friendly model for a wider system assessment.
It builds on recent research that identified opportunities from decarbonising the electricity supply, through using low carbon energy source to displace conventional heating and transport fuels, and explores factors which will influence the extent of the potential impact on the whole energy system.
The Scottish Government heat and electricity policy statements highlighted the range of low carbon technologies that can be used to deliver this decarbonisation, whilst also balancing the requirement to deliver secure supplies of energy at an affordable price. The peaks and troughs in heat demand, both within a day and across the seasons, are far greater than the variations in electrical demand, and create a challenge for electricity generating assets which, in the absence of storage, may be under-used for long periods.
Electrification of heating can also place further pressure on the network infrastructure required to deliver the additional power to demand centres. There are potential impacts on the high voltage transmission network, particularly if the background generation is located in different geographical zones within the GB system, but there is likely to be a substantial impact on the distribution network, particularly if electrification is rolled out in localised clusters.
A detailed report of the project outputs is also published here. If you would like further information please contact Scottish Government directly on Energy_Statistics_Mailbox@gov.scot