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Geothermal could meet a significant proportion of Scotland’s energy needs

Deep geothermal energy has the potential to play a significant role in Scotland’s future energy provision, according to a new report published today.

Aecom was commissioned by the Scottish Government, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, to identify the areas of Scotland most likely to have deep geothermal resources. The report also recommends potential policies and actions to encourage commercial exploitation of the available resource. 

“Our study has demonstrated that geothermal energy could provide a sustainable source of heat for homes, buildings and industry with the location of the resources corresponding well with the most densely populated areas of Scotland,” said Aecom energy practice director Ian Gillies.

“Successful commercialisation of this sector will require a strong partnership between private sector developers, the Scottish Government, government agencies and other stakeholders to gradually increase confidence, reduce costs and encourage investment.  We have made many recommendations, including the development and implementation of a national geothermal energy vision statement and strategy for the Scottish Government to consider.”

The study, based on existing data, considered Scotland’s geothermal resources contained in abandoned mine workings, hot sedimentary aquifers and deep granite rocks. Depending on the temperature of the geothermal resource, energy developments have the potential to either generate electricity and produce heat energy, or produce heat energy alone.

The study found that the most promising current prospect is heat energy accessible via abandoned mine workings located predominantly across Scotland’s Central Belt.

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