Improving infrastructure: Heat mapping and decentralised energy feasibility study

Date of the report

April 2008

Author of the report

Advantage West Midlands

Purpose of the report

This study was undertaken in response to the recent Energy White Paper which asked Regional Development Agencies to identify opportunities as to how they could bring forward decentralised energy projects. This report presents the findings of work on heat mapping and decentralised energy.

Relevance to the region

Key findings and recommendations:

  • The key opportunities for CHP are in the domestic, public and commercial sectors, principally in flats, hospitals, offices and retail premises
  • The opportunities can be realised by awareness raising and some form of financial incentive There is the potential to treble uptake of CHP in the region in the public and commercial sector, yielding over 500 GWH/yr additional heat supply, saving over 57,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and driving an additional £143m capital investment
  • Awareness raising alone in the public and commercial sector would increase uptake by 28%, yielding an additional heat supply of almost 50 GWH/yr (5,700 tonnes of CO2 and £14m of capital investment)
  • The study estimates that industry (mainly chemicals, food and drink and pulp and paper) could double its uptake of CHP, yielding over 1000 GWH/yr additional heat (over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 and almost £300m capital investment)
  • These figures are complimented with other studies (eg URS ‘Low- Carbon Evidence Base’ report estimated that regional support for DE could result in 530,000t CO2 assuming 8-12% conventional electricity replaced by gas-fired CHP.) This figure would be higher if the sources were renewable or more existing heat sources were used.

Benefits to the region:

  • Regional organisations, businesses and individuals would benefit from improved energy security and reduced costs which would improve the competitiveness of the region
  • It will support the region to achieve a low-carbon economy
  • There would be significant investment in the region with downstream benefits for regional businesses and Environmental Technology, supply chain stimulation and increase employment opportunities
  • The experience gained could become an export opportunity
  • It provides opportunities to build on regional expertise in some of the renewable or lower carbon fuel sources such as biomass or waste to energy.

What SWM liked

We like that this study fulfills commitments within Advantage West Midlands’ low carbon regional economic strategy “Connecting to Success” published in December 2007 and delivery plan published in April 2008.

Links and contact information

For further information please email


Heat mapping and decentralised energy feasibility study (pdf)

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