Five projects to explore the possibility of sites in Scotland producing geothermal energy have won funding.
The Scottish government granted a total of £234,025 to projects in Fife, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire.
The schemes will explore the technical feasibility, economic viability and environmental sustainability of the emerging technology.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “These projects will help improve our understanding of this renewable energy source and the contribution it can make to helping Scotland reduce its carbon emissions.
“These five projects demonstrate how the Scottish government is supporting the geothermal industry to make the most of this largely untapped resource and to develop a delivery model which reduces carbon emissions, is self-sustaining and is economically viable.”
Trade body the Renewable Energy Association welcomed the move and urged it to be replicated across the UK.
A spokesman said: “We are delighted with the Scottish government’s decision, which brings the building of five new geothermal plants one step closer.
“Geothermal technology offers large-scale renewable heat, and will make the most of the Scotland’s abundant sub-surface assets.
“Our research estimates that with the right policy framework and support in place, deep geothermal could produce up to 100GW of renewable heat – as much as the United Kingdom’s annual heat demand. We are therefore hopeful that the ambition for geothermal being demonstrated in Scotland is replicated in DECC.”
The projects are:
- Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – to conduct a feasibility study for the installation of a deep geothermal single well system to provide heat to the new Centre and associated buildings
- Guardbridge, Fife – to explore the geothermal potential under a brownfield site to provide heat to on-site industries and the local community
- Polkemmet, West Lothian – to establish the feasibility of geothermal heat from mineworkings, which will heat proposed new social housing in the area
- Hartwood, North Lanarkshire – to develop a fully operational minewater geothermal district heating system which could act as an exemplar of how to transform farm economics and transfer benefits to local communities
- Hill of Banchory, Aberdeenshire – to explore the viability of adding geothermal energy from hot dry and hot wet rocks to the existing renewable heat network that is already serving the local communities