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Guildford Renewable Energy Mapping Study

Heat map of the central Guildford area.

Assessing options for low and zero carbon energy generation in Guildford.

Project duration: July 2014 – February 2015

This renewable energy mapping study was undertaken by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to provide supporting evidence for the development of Guildford’s Local Plan, and help the council to consider new policies which encourage the appropriate use of low and zero carbon energy generation across the Borough. The outputs gave Guildford Borough Council and other stakeholders an indication of the range of sustainable energy resources available, and the opportunities and constraints that impact their use.

The study specifically assessed opportunities and constraints relating to large and medium scale onshore wind power, solar PV farms, building-integrated renewable energy systems (solar PV, solar thermal, ground and air source heat pumps, and biomass boilers) and district heating systems (using a heat mapping approach).

CSE has extensive expertise in sustainable energy resource assessments and heat mapping. Studies for Hinckley and Bosworth, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Plymouth, five West Sussex authorities and Teignbridge (which also included a climate change vulnerability assessment) were successful in incorporating sustainable energy objectives into core strategies. We  also pioneered a new approach to resource mapping through interactive, web-based heat maps, being commissioned to produce the National Heat Map for the then Department of Energy & Climate Change. This web application, based on high resolution maps of heat demand, supported the planning and deployment of local, low-carbon projects in England from 2010 to 2018.

Heat map of the central Guildford area.
Heat map of the central Guildford area.

A note on heat mapping

Heat mapping is a process of using available datasets to make accurate estimates of heat demand from buildings within a given area, and presenting these visually on a map. The map can then be used to find areas of high heat demand which may be suitable for district heating, where one heat source is used to provide heat to a network of more than one property or building. This can be more efficient than each property having its own heating system, because heat generation can be more efficient at larger scales and may sometimes be combined with electricity generation in the form of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.

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