SEAI Mapping Systems Wiki

Heat Map

To view the Heat Demand GIS resource, click here

In 2015, AECOM completed a study commissioned by SEAI to fulfil Ireland’s requirements under article 14 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) and SEAI’s responsibility under 23 (1) of S.I. 426. As part of this study a spatial representation of Ireland’s heat demand was developed.

Heat mapping describes the spatial distribution of heat demand based on information on the building type, (a residential dwelling, a commercial or public sector building or an industrial site), the type of fuel used to generate the heat and other metrics such as area of buildings, and current and planned energy efficiency measures. The combination of a detailed dataset and spatial distribution means that heat maps can be used for the analysis of community energy schemes, or other schemes where spatial and geographic information may be of use.

Key components of the heat map development are:

  • Description of current heating and cooling demand covering the domestic, commercial, public, and industrial sectors.
  • Forecast of how this demand may change over the next 10 years.
  • Mapping of heating and demands, and mapping existing and planned heat supply schemes.

The heat map is based an analysis of detailed high resolution sector specific data which are used to calculate heat demands. Two complementary approaches have been applied:

  • Bottom up. Calculating demands based on characteristics of the heat users.
  • Top down. Using measured energy consumption data. National statistics have been used to help verify the bottom up assumptions where comparable data is available.

These maps present the following data:

  • heat demands for domestic and non-domestic (public sector, commercial, and industrial) buildings. These are annual heat demands in MWh (both for 2015 and 2025), annual demand per m2 of building footprint MWh/m2 and linear heat density MWh/km.
  • industrial demands and waste heat availability for EU ETS sites
  • the location of industrial sites within the Large Industry Energy Network group
  • Water network lengths, gas network lengths and road lengths used for the calculation of linear heat density; and
  • key energy supply technologies including power stations.

The heat map data is presented as a GIS map with a Small Area resolution. Small Areas are areas of population comprising between 50 and 200 dwellings created by The National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) on behalf of the Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi). Small Areas were designed as the lowest level of geography for the compilation of statistics in line with data protection and generally comprise either complete or part of townlands or neighbourhoods. Another benefit of using small areas is that since they are defined by the number of homes, they are generally smaller in terms of geographic area in areas of high heat density (due to more homes per km2) and therefore offer a greater resolution in areas where heat networks are more likely to be viable.

A range number of datasets and assumptions have been used in the construction of the heat map, detailed in the information on the maps layers. Due to the geographic area covered and the national nature of this work, the datasets and assumptions are necessarily available for national coverage. It is therefore not possible to conduct analysis where the information is not contained in the national datasets. This means that area specific factors which may be known about (such as a specific factory for example), may not be included in the national map if they are not in the national datasets. However any further mapping of local areas could be used to identify and assess these location specific factors.

It should be noted that whilst the heat map includes public sector loads, the availability of data at a national level describing the public sector buildings is limited. Therefore only public sector buildings heated by gas, and which could have locations identified, are included in the dataset.

It is hoped that these heat maps can aid researchers, consultants, utilities and decision makers interested in assessing the potential for district heating, energy efficiency and other infrastructure for specific locations across the country.