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Developing Scotland’s energy infrastructure: a guide to energy masterplanning



Energy masterplanning can assist developers and local authorities plan better, provide for ‘future proofing’ and in using energy more efficiently. The objective of the energy masterplan is to provide a clear picture and sound evidence base outlining the potential for the delivery of decentralised energy networks with the relevant stakeholders. The primary aim of this guide is to set out the critical key stages and components of an energy masterplan and the benefits of developing energy efficient systems and decentralised energy systems. It describes a series of stages that typically may be used in preparing an energy masterplan. The guide draws on examples and explains how this approach assists in the development and delivery of economically viable, sustainable projects. It provides advice on what information is publicly available, additional data that needs to be collected, useful tools and a description of how all of these elements can be incorporated into a coherent energy masterplan. The guide also contains a glossary of terms and key linkages. The key target audiences for this guide are: local authorities; local communities; other public sector developers; property developers, landowners and building operators; and energy companies/decentralised energy developers.


The methodology consisted of desk research and consultation with various stakeholders.


Energy masterplans are best focused on specific spatial geographic areas that may have been identified as a result of an assessment of multiple opportunities or because a decentralised energy generation opportunity is identified as providing a strong benefit to a project. It was suggested that one plan may support multiple clusters that could eventually merge. Energy masterplanning has a number of benefits, including the more efficient use of energy resources, data collection and stakeholder engagement. It also has a number of economic, technological, planning and policy benefits. Each individual project will need a bespoke approach, but there are key stages that can be followed. However, not all of these stages must happen and they do not have to take place in the same order. There are six key stages in the methodology for energy masterplanning and these should be addressed in the following order: data collection; strategy; technology options appraisal; economic assessment; comparative assessment of scenarios; and project reporting. There are a number of case studies from London, England, Wales and Scotland that show how projects are progressing to subsequent stages of feasibility and business case development and the installation of systems. The detailed and rigorous assessment of the technology options available sits very much at the core of the ‘energy masterplanning’ approach. The trend in the market at the moment is for greater efficiency in the consumption of electricity and low and zero carbon generation in a combination of large scale plants and decentralised generation. These options include: solar PV; wind turbines; wave and tidal energy; hydroelectric energy; low and zero carbon heat supply opportunities; solar heating; biomass boilers; heat pumps; energy from waste; gas CHP; anaerobic digestion and biogas CHP; and biomass CHP. The guide notes that energy storage is a key challenge to managing the inconsistent demand and supply of heat and electricity.


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Record metadata
Report (1 MB, pdf)
ConsultantScottish Enterprise
Published year2015
Document TypeResearch
Theme/SectorEnergy, Sustainable development, Sectors