South Seeds Renewable Heat Study

South Seeds is a community-led charity based in Glasgow’s southside. Their main effort is to tackle climate change by helping local residents with practical action such as improving home energy efficiency, cutting energy bills and reducing fuel poverty.

South Seeds supported this renewable heat study, led by Ricardo Energy & Environment with input from John Gilbert Architects and the British Geological Survey, to demonstrate the benefits of district heating schemes as a method of tackling the significant levels of fuel poverty in the area and reduce carbon emissions.

This South Seeds Renewable Heat study demonstrated the benefits of district heating schemes and provided decision makers with essential information to determine whether a district heating network in the project area should be explored further. As this report shows, a district heating network could be a cost-effective method.

A heat map of the South Seeds project area was produced to identify the heat demand of the area, identifying significant loads around which it may be suitable to build a heat network. This used data from the Scotland Heat Map produced by the Scottish Government and made available for this study. Additional heat demand estimates were made for the domestic properties using the standard assessment procedure (SAP). This heat map is presented in Section 4.

From the map, opportunity areas were identified for potential district heating networks. These focussed on areas of the highest heat demand density, which coincide with the highest levels of social deprivation as shown in Section 2. The opportunity areas are presented in Section 5. Low carbon heating solutions, which include energy from waste, natural gas combined heat and power (CHP), biomass, biomass CHP and extracting heat from mine water were assessed to determine which would be technically feasible to deliver heat to these networks. These are detailed in Section 6.

Once a technical solution for providing heat to the network was identified, a number of scenarios were considered to determine the financial viability of district heating networks that could deliver a 10% and 20% reduction in heating costs for residents in the area. The results of this analysis are presented in Section 7.

This heat study also includes further information on billing arrangements that have been implemented across other district heating networks as this is an important consideration for determining whether a district heating network would work in the project area. Some of the key factors that need to be considered and lessons learned from other schemes are presented in Section 10.


Download summary and full technical report from South Seeds website