Spatial mapping of building energy demand in Great Britain

Taylor, Simon C, Firth, Steven K, Wang, Chao, Allinson, David, Quddus, Mohammed and Smith, Pete (2014) Spatial mapping of building energy demand in Great Britain. GCB Bioenergy, 6(2), pp. 123-135. ISSN (print) 1757-1693


Maps of energy demand from buildings in Great Britain have been created at 1 km square resolution. They reveal the spatial variation of demand for heat and electricity, of importance for energy distribution studies and particularly for bioenergy research given the significant distance‐based restrictions on the viability of bioenergy crops. Maps representing the spatial variation of energy demand for the year 2009 were created using publicly available sub‐national gas and electricity consumption data. A new statistical model based on census data was used to increase the spatial resolution. The energy demand was split into thermal energy (the heat energy required for space heating and hot water) and electricity used for purposes other than heating (nonheating electricity or NHE) and was determined separately for the domestic and nondomestic sectors. ‘Scenario factors,’ representing the fractional change at national level in the demand for heat and NHE, were derived from scenarios constructed by UKERC. These scenarios represent a range of pathways from the present day to 2050. The present work focused on the two cases of greatest relevance, the ‘low carbon’ and ‘additional policies’ scenarios, and factors for both were derived, for the demand types described, for every 5 years between 2000 and 2050. Approximately, future spatial energy demands can be obtained by applying the scenario factors to the base mapping data for 2009.

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