In 2015, the Edinburgh Council sought to take its share of responsibility for climate change to become part of a group of cities around the world that are showing leadership in delivering more liveable cities.
Edinburgh is trying to offer more sustainable choices for people in the city to allow citizens to adjust their behaviour in more sustainable ways. The Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) is the first energy action plan for Edinburgh contributing to just that with the aim of reducing carbon emissions across the city by 42% by 2020. The vision is that Edinburgh will transform its energy use by reducing demand and encouraging local generation. These benefits will also help alleviate fuel poverty and create local jobs and more sustainable communities.
The SEAP aims to transform energy use across the city and empower its communities to make informed and sustainable choices regarding their energy consumption. It will provide the leadership, commitment and planning necessary for the transition to a low-carbon Edinburgh. It will reduce the city’s dependence on fossil fuels and support Edinburgh’s citizens and businesses to reduce their energy costs.
Ramboll’s involvement has been in two major projects as well as support to the Council in driving forward a strategic vision for District Heating in the City. At Edinburgh BioQuarter and Edinburgh International we developed district heating studies for the main stakeholders including Scottish Enterprise and City of Edinburgh Council. These two projects form part of a wider integrated district heating strategy for the city thereby strengthening the success of the existing district heating market in the City. The City of Edinburgh Council’s vision is to integrate existing networks including Edinburgh University’s four existing systems. Other major potential projects include heat pumps in Leith, development of district heating networks supplying university campuses, Council and social rented properties and integrated energy networks to existing and new commercial developments in the city centre.
The Edinburgh Sustainable Energy Action Plan is just one of many signs that district heating is making its global breakthrough as a technology that is both carbon cutting and cost-effective.