District heating scheme gets a high ranking

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Lerwick’s district heating scheme has become the first in the country to be recognised for its performance in a green European project, handled in the UK by the Building Research Establishment.

The Lerwick scheme has been issued with a label indicating its top rating in two out of three categories in the Ecoheat4cities project, and received just under top rating in the third.

Shetland Heat Energy and Power (Sheap) manager Neville Martin said: “We were very willing to participate in this scheme, we think that with district heating we’re in the forefront of the technology that will help produce the greatest carbon savings.”

Ecoheat4cities promotes understanding and information of district heating systems through a voluntary labelling system which uses a  simple image of a flower to indicate its green credentials – the more petals coloured in the more energy efficient the system.

The three criteria are: the primary energy input; the CO2 efficiency; and “renewable share”. The lower the primary energy input in relation to the volume of heat supplied the greater the resource efficiency and the more flower petals are coloured in. The lower the CO2 emission per delivered MWh of thermal energy the more climate-friendly the system is and thus more flower petals.

The renewable share values the share of renewable and surplus heat in relation to the European and national renewable targets. Ecoheat4cities also works with district cooling schemes.

The aim of the labelling is to inform local decision-makers and investors in making renewable energy and energy efficiency choices, and demonstrating to the public that district heating and cooling is a viable and intelligent technology.

Besides participating in the European scheme, Mr Martin has also given advice to the Scottish Government  Expert Commission, established earlier this year, on how district heating can be developed with a view to making a “major move” to the system in Scotland’s cities.

The commission’s report indicates that district heating, compared to other forms of heating, reduces carbon emissions by an average of  30 to 40 per cent and heating bills by the same amount. It creates jobs and retains wealth locally thanks to lower bills, and can be integrated with renewable systems such as wind turbines and solar thermal arrays.

Mr Martin said: “If our project with SSE incorporating our three wind turbines at Rova Head, which have planning permission, goes ahead, along with our large thermal storage tank, then I’m hoping our [energy efficiency] performance will improve further reducing the amount of oil we use.”

The government’s aspiration is, wherever possible, for public sector buildings in Scotland to be on district heating by 2020 to 2030 and a business case is being produced for the connection of multi-storey social housing.

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25 comments

  1. Paula Goddard

    Brilliant news ,wel ldone and a Happy New year to you all .!

  2. John Tulloch

    This is a fine achievement in terms of the EU’s “rules of the game” and wishing to avoid any “Scrooge” connotations at Christmas I won’t pour any cold water on it however if readers will bear with me, I shall pour some on our governments and the EU instead.

    Just as we have legislation in this country to enforce the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions we also have legislation to enforce the eradication of fuel poverty which, reportedly, is now visiting 25% of households in the UK.

    When shall we see the UK government prosecuting itself for – spectacularly – failing to eradicate fuel poverty while simultaneously prosecuting itself for failing to meet its carbon dioxide emission reduction targets?

    Will the “Ghost of Christmas Present” visit the “heid eens” of Ecoheat4Cities?

    When will the EU add a fourth category to its success criteria – petals in the form of banknotes – in which the more a system costs to use the more banknote petals it gets?

    Systems could then be judged on how they perform against cost to consumers?

    How does the Lerwick district heating scheme perform against other forms of heating in terms of cost per unit of heat supplied?

    How could it be made cheaper?

  3. Eleanor Black

    Congratulations, Shetland in the lead as usual. Hope Rothesay may take note!

  4. Mike Hedderwick

    Great to read of your continuing success. Very best wishes for the future.

  5. ian tinkler

    A little bit of self-laudation here. The Greenies awarding the Greenest, quite irrespective of cost and danger to the community. Not a mention of the potentially lethal sodium-sulphur (Na/S) battery at Lerwick power station. SSE with its near religious zeal to make money on a green agenda trying to commissioning large turbines at Rova Head. Just how close to massive fuel storage tanks and residential properties? Well with the fall out of a turbine fire debris. Lethal fuel fires no problem to carbon footprint unaltered, all to be burnt anyway, just add a few people! Rock on SSE, just a bit more care for the people who supply your income please, a little more common sense from “The Green Taliban” may not come amiss! Is this Green thing a new religion or is this just a continuance of Mammon worship under a new guise?

  6. Joe johnson

    Ian, no offence but why are you always commenting on the readers views in the shetland times. I always see your name here, Dont you have a life?

  7. ian tinkler

    No offence taken Joe, I was commenting on article, not reader’s views. Bad things only happen when good people do nothing. Out of interest, do you think SSE did well placing sodium-sulphur (Na/S) battery at Lerwick power station and advocating wind turbines above fuel depots, despite the known fire risk? Are you unaware or indifferent to the risk? That would indicate either ignorance or impartiality of risks and potential dangers to Shetlanders. SSE clearly is willing to take that risk, are you going to applaud that or fight it? You have to make that choice, now I have informed you, no longer can you claim ignorance. No offence meant to you, I am just trying to dispel ignorance. View the reference and have an informed opinion. http://www.google.ca/search?q=Turbine+wind+debri+fire&hl=en&lr=&tbo=u&as_qdr=all&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=tC3gUI-tL-XL0AW1nIG4Dw&ved=0CHgQsAQ&biw=2560&bih=1390

  8. Jane Leask (Clousta)

    Joe Johnson – just ignore him, the rest of us do!

  9. ian tinkler

    It is good to hear from you Jane, is your your statement not somewhat contradicted by your own comment!? Happy New year to you and yours.

  10. J Ridland

    Oh dear o dear JaneLeask “just ignore him” Please have a wee look back at history ,,, see what comes when you “ignore”

  11. Stella Winks

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing…..

  12. Stella Winks

    If folk don’t make the effort to speak out or challenge then society capitulates to whatever is thrown at it. Look at the heroic efforts of Sustainable Shetland and folk that took to the streets on a bitterly cold winters day to demonstrate against Viking Energy’s planned decimation of our beautiful islands. I was one of the frozen souls on that march and proud to have been. Ian provides interesting reading even if one doesn’t agree with him on all points. At least we have the opportunity for public forums :)

  13. ian tinkler

    The greatest compliment to me and my views is paradoxically the mindless comments and insults thrown at me by a very few. I would be horrified if all my views were meekly accepted and not challenged. An intellectual and reasoned argument with factual references is a constructive addition to any debate, for or against one’s own personal views. The mindless and pointless comment of some only highlights the weakness of their own argument and is a self-inflicted insult only to themselves.

  14. Robert Lowes

    “Look at the heroic efforts of Sustainable Shetland”

    “I would be horrified if all my views were meekly accepted and not challenged”

    Well, that’s two unbelievable sentences in as many postings. April isn’t for a wee while yet, so I’ll have to assume you’re both still suffering the after-effects of Hogmanay.

  15. ian tinkler

    You so well illustrate my point so well. Robert. “An intellectual and reasoned argument with factual references is a constructive addition to any debate” or “,The mindless and pointless comment of some only highlights the weakness of their own argument” Well done indeed.

  16. Gordon Harmer

    Every ones opinion should be endured as long as truth is free to dissect it.

  17. Robert Lowes

    It’s a laudable statement Ian, but your previous postings consisting of half-truths, outright misinformation and “factual references” pulled from Daily Mail articles,combined with an unhealthy amount of doom-mongering and naysaying rather undermines your credibility.

  18. John Tulloch

    Quite so. It’s a few weeks early but “facts are chiels that winna ding.” So let’s debate what they are.

    Better by far that we are all free to take the risk of looking foolish by sticking our necks out than skulking like “wee sleekit, cooerin’ timorous beesties” in fear of scorn, rebuke or worse, from “right-thinking people” (“Lord, remember me……. Gaun Hamilton drinks an’ sweers an’ plays the caertes!”).

    Whatever people may think or say about the present council, it is, so far, a prince to the last lot and that is due to one thing only, people with the strength of character to risk public intellectual defeat by speaking out, individually, or in concert.

    Otherwise the same lot would be in power.

    Keep the criticism coming, they’re sufficiently thick-skinned and percipient to listen to intelligent comments and not tak da dorts ower da strong stuff.

    Viva, Tinklerio, Harmerio (et Hillio, for that matter)!

    What like would life be without controversy?

  19. Sandy McMillan

    Ian, dont fret the majority agree with you, it is only a few mindless numpties that dont, they are the ones in a few years wish they had taken your word as gospel

  20. Johan Adamson

    Its easy to sit in judgement and criticise though. Not so easy to do. Not so easy to be in their shoes. You have to be thick skinned to be in public service. Might as well still have the stocks and shout ‘off with their heads’.

  21. ian tinkler

    An intellectual and reasoned argument with factual references is a constructive addition to any debate” Some seem to lack the ability to do this! The mindless and pointless comment of those only highlights the weakness of their own argument and is a self-inflicted insult only to themselves. For example: A few quotes from the above discussion, not reasoned or relevant just simplistic twaddle unworthy of the playground of a nursery. “just ignore him, the rest of us do!”: “”April isn’t for a wee while yet, so I’ll have to assume you’re both still suffering the after-effects of Hogmanay.”: “postings consisting of half-truths, outright misinformation and “factual references” pulled from Daily Mail”: “”Don’t you have a life?”. Now, Jane, Robert and Joe, how about ““An intellectual and reasoned argument with factual references to make a constructive addition to this debate”. Any intelligent scientific argument must be referenced. The reader can than check the validity of those facts. Unbelievable, Robert Lowes, The Mail does on occasion get it right, however my references in this discussion was: (http://www.google.ca/search?q=Turbine+wind+debri+fire&hl=en&lr=&tbo=u&as_qdr=all&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=tC3gUI-tL-XL0AW1nIG4Dw&ved=0CHgQsAQ&biw=2560&bih=1390) Actually that is about 100 separate articles. Read them then pass comment and reference your research. Then you may have written an informed and intelligent comment to broaden this debate. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  22. George Kippets

    Thank God for enlightened settlers like Mr Tinkler, willing to share their infinite wisdom with the benighted natives of the Old Rock!

  23. Jane Leask (Clousta)

    I have as much right to make whatever comments I wish as you are.

    Or are you saying your thoughts are more valid than mine or others?

    No my comment was not about the article or your responses (I hadn’t read them – I don’t usually if your name is at the bottom) just passing on some advice to Joe whose comment I did read posted on the right hand side of the home page.

  24. ian tinkler

    Jane you have every right to pass comment and give advice to Joe. It is just a little unusual to pass comments on viewpoints and discussions you have never read, so cannot possibly understand or have an informed opinion about. I can only assume your motive for writing had nothing to with the arguments and views being expressed at all. I will leave the readers to speculate on your motivation, unfortunatelyI fear it may be rather unpleasant.

  25. Jane Leask (Clousta)

    Unpleasant? Maybe I have good reason!