Heating homes with wind energy could result in benefits of £26mn per year to electricity consumers in Scotland, according to the findings of the 4D Heat project.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) revealed the project had identified up to 540GWh of energy generated by wind could be absorbed by domestic heating across off-gas grid Scotland in 2040, saving £24mn in wind constraint payments, while delivering a further £2mn per year in environmental and social benefits The project analysed an off-gas grid area in Skye and extrapolated findings to off-gas grid Scotland. It sought to explore the ability of flexible demand from heat to absorb wind power that would have otherwise been curtailed due to transmission constraints.
It found that 17% of curtailed wind could be used by electric heating systems in 2020 and 9% in 2030, when the forecast 2030 wind curtailment is around three times the total off-gas grid electric heating load, with corresponding CO2 savings. By 2030, it found some households could save around 18% on their annual energy bill.
SSEN had led the project alongside National Grid ESO, with the research, modelling and analysis carried out by Delta-EE, Everoze and PassivSystems.
The project set out recommendations on the roles for SSEN and ESO to support the decarbonisation of heat, including supporting the evidence base for smart domestic controls, which will be key to supporting low carbon heat. It also advocated continuing DSO reform by improving accessibility to data to give flexibility providers long-term visibility of the location of future network needs; adopting a “market enabling” role for innovation; and encouraging the wind industry to explore new market mechanisms to include residential demand side flexibility.