Milton Keynes Energy Mapping Study

Potential for low and zero carbon technologies in the borough

Project duration: October 2011 to May 2012

Milton Keynes Council commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), in partnership with the United Sustainable Energy Agency (USEA), to produce a multi-layered, GIS-based Energy Map. The project documented sustainable sources of energy and their use within Milton Keynes, along with the range of low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies currently in place and the scope for their wider implementation.

The Energy Map produced is compatible with other spatial information, enabling overlay and analysis against other GIS datasets (e.g. off-gas data, fuel poverty data, housing and master planning data). This provides the council with a visual tool which can be used by local decision makers, developers and investors, and which can assist in the delivery of key strategies and plans.

Previous area-wide sustainability studies have given us advanced expertise in wider sustainable energy data modelling and mapping. For example, we have mapped the opportunities and constraints for renewable technologies in area-wide studies for West Sussex council, Bristol and PlymouthCSE has also undertaken heat distribution opportunity assessments for various individual local authorities. Our fine-grained approach to address-level heat mapping, has placed us at the forefront of heat mapping within the UK and led to DECC commissioning us to produce a new on-line interactive National Heat Map.

For this study, several layers were mapped and then integrated in order to compare possible carbon reduction scenarios.

Existing low and zero carbon technologies

Data was collated to help provide a baseline from which to monitor progress of LZC technologies within the borough. Records were made of installed energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for private/public sector housing, public/commercial sector buildings and stand-alone installations.

Potential for low and zero carbon technologies

Different categories of LZC technologies were evaluated for their potential in Milton Keynes Borough and opportunities for their wider deployment were investigated. LZC technologies were categorised generally as:

  • Stand-alone and community-scale generation – i.e. wind power, biomass (woodland residues & energy crops), hydro, energy from waste, combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating;
  • Microgeneration – i.e. solar PV, solar water heating, heat pumps, micro-hydro, micro-wind and micro-CHP;
  • Energy efficiency – i.e. wall/loft insulation, double glazing, high efficiency boilers etc.

Milton Keynes Heat Map

CSE has produced the National Heat Map for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Behind the heat map is a database of modelled heat demand for every address in the country (and actual heat demand for buildings which have Display Energy Certificates). This enables users to locate and investigate areas of high heat demand which may be suitable for district heating. The Milton Keynes map supports the Council with planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects, by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

Energy character areas

Areas of opportunity for LZC technologies were identified by integrating mapping work from the various project tasks, in order to build up Energy Character Areas. The general concept of Energy Character Areas concerns the way in which sustainable energy resources and LZC technology opportunities are spatially distributed and how they may interact. Opportunities in the borough relate to buildings, planned development or organisations, and not just location factors such as the availability of resources.

Carbon reduction scenarios

Based on the resource assessments, the outcomes of four different modelled scenarios for 2020 were determined. A spreadsheet was developed to model carbon reductions from a range of different sources and relate these to the 2020 carbon reduction target of a 40% reduction relative to 2005.

Image: flickr, Krzysztof Pawliszak, image reproduced under a Creative Commons license.

For further information contact:

Martin Holley | 0117 934 1419

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