Scottish Renewables calls for strategy, funding for geothermal development in Scotland

Scottish Renewables calls for strategy, funding for geothermal development in Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (source: flickr/ kyz, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 27 Sep 2022

Scottish Renewables cites a study on the potential of mine water to supply 8% of Scotland's heat demand in a call for policy, strategy, and funding for geothermal development.

Scottish Renewables, the trade body for the renewable energy industry in Scotland, has called on the UK government to develop a regulatory system and strategy for geothermal technologies, as well as a funding path for geothermal projects. The abandoned coal mines in the Central Belt, in particular, are compelling resource to explore and can potentially supply up to 8% of the heat demand in Scotland with geothermal energy.

“Heat makes half of the energy we use in Scotland, so reducing the carbon emissions produced while keeping Scotland warm is vital if we are to tackle climate change,” said Scottish Renewables senior policy manager Helen Melone.

In a study commissioned by the Scottish Government, three geothermal energy sources with significant potential were identified in Scotland. These are abandoned mines, hot sedimentary aquifers, and hot dry rocks. Despite the results of this study, the heat in buildings strategy of the Government only made a passing reference to geothermal technology, stating that “it could have a role to play in particular communities and areas.”

The potential of mine water for geothermal heating was the result of the HotScot project which we reported on back in 2020.

The Scottish Government will start banning the installation of fossil fuel boilers by 2024 towards the eventual phasing out of of all fossil fuel boilers by 2045. As Scottish Renewables also pointed out, there has been a focus on deploying heat networks in Edinburgh and London, but geothermal technologies are not substantially part of the conversation.

Geothermal could play a key role in the future of Scotland, but the UK Government will need to address misconceptions about geothermal energy and provide funding that supports projects even at the research and development stage.

Earlier this year, we reported on plans to drill a deep geothermal well in Glasgow with the hopes of tapping to a 200-degree steam resource.

Source: The Herald