A fund to support research into exploring Scotland’s geothermal capacity to meet the energy needs of local communities is launched today by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
The Challenge Fund is open to organisations working together to benefit local communities, achieving carbon reductions which are sustainable and commercially viable on a long term basis and the development of future viable delivery models.
Mr Ewing said:
“Heat is estimated to account for over half of Scotland’s total energy use with an estimated £2.6 billion a year spent on heating by householders and the non-domestic sector.
Over the last few years we have developed a better understanding and appreciation of the geothermal resource under our feet. Scotland already has two successful small-scale housing projects in Glenalmond Street, Shettleston, and Lumphinnans, Fife, which use water from disused mines to provide the heat for members of the local community.
I have taken the advice of the Geothermal Energy Expert Group to build on the findings of the study undertaken in 2012-13 by supporting exploration of the significant potential for geothermal energy in naturally occurring groundwater and the water collecting in our abandoned mines.
Now is the time to take the experience of the housing projects in Shettleston and Fife and take the first steps towards the development of a delivery model which reduces carbon emissions, is self-sustaining and is economically viable.”