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Geothermal Energy

Draft Heat Generation Policy Statement

Scotland’s Heat Map


For more information about Geothermal Energy please contact: Johann MacDougall, johann.macdougall@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

What is geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy is simply the natural heat that exists within our planet.  The geothermal heat resource beneath Scotland can be considered in terms of three main settings: abandoned mine workings (low temperature), hot sedimentary aquifers (low and possibly relatively high temperature), and hot dry rocks / petrothermal sources (relatively high temperature).

The potential for deep geothermal energy in Scotland

The Scottish Government commissioned AECOM (in collaboration with the British Geological Survey) to carry out a study to identify the next steps that are necessary to take forward the commercialisation of deep geothermal energy in Scotland, comprising the following:

Stage One – assessment of the areas most likely to hold deep geothermal resource based on existing geological data sets, and

Stage Two – Identification of policy options and key actions that the Scottish Government can implement to encourage commercial exploitation of the available geothermal resource, including providing policy options, key actions, and who should be responsible for their implementation.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) undertook stage one in collaboration with AECOM. The resulting report is summarised as a non-technical summary in Section 2 of Volume 1. The full report is contained in Volume 2.

Heat Policy Statement

The Heat Policy Statement (published on 11 June 2015) sets out how the Scottish Government is working with stakeholders to develop the geothermal industry in Scotland.

Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund

The Scottish Government has launched the Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund to support research into Scotland’s geothermal capacity to meet the energy needs of local communities.  The Challenge Fund is the first being run as part of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme which has been designed to support potential projects from across the public, private and community sectors through the various stages of their development.

More information about the Challenge Fund and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme can be obtained here.