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The East Lothian Question – Critical to the UK’s Heating Future

East Lothian Heat Highway Map

The East Lothian Question – Critical to the UK’s Heating Future

To meet its long-term heating and decarbonisation targets, East Lothian District Council is investigating a heat utility strategy utilising clean, low-cost waste heat from its local industries.

But rather than the traditional approach of developing small, independent heat network zones in each town and suburb, the council proposes to build an extensive, regional heat infrastructure using Heat Transmission Highways.

This concept will allow the council to harvest waste heat across its district, and leverage economies of scale to significantly reduce its cost of heat.

However, East Lothian’s primary obstacle is not a lack of public support or complicated logistics, but policy. According to the Scottish Government’s Heat Network Support Unit (HNSU), East Lothian has insufficient heating demand density to justify the creation of heat networks. Instead, the current national strategy encourages a patchwork of local, small-scale heat networks across the country. Compared to the regional heat transmission model, this approach is far less efficient, more costly, more time-consuming to develop, and limits the amount of waste heat sources that can be utilised.

This challenge leads us to the East Lothian Question:

Can the Scottish Government achieve its net zero socio-economic objectives without being energy efficient with its plentiful waste heat resources?

If you would like to find out more about the East Lothian Heat Transmission Highway please download our latest Raven-i “The East Lothian Question – Critical to the UK’s Heating Future” here.

East Lothian Heat Highway Map

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