Deep geothermal energy potential in Scotland

Gillespie, M.R.; Crane, E.J.; Barron, H.F.. 2013 Deep geothermal energy potential in Scotland. Nottingham, UK, Scottish Government, 129pp. (CR/12/131N)

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Geothermal energy is simply the natural heat that exists within our planet. In some parts of the world the existence of a geothermal energy resource is made obvious by the presence of hot springs, and such resources have been exploited in various ways for millennia. More usually, there is no direct evidence at Earth‘s surface of the vast reservoir of stored heat below, and geothermal energy has remained largely ignored and untapped in most parts of the world. Now, its potential as a renewable source of energy is being recognised increasingly, and technologies and concepts for exploiting it are developing rapidly along two lines: low enthalpy (low temperature) resources, which exploit warm water in the shallow subsurface to provide heat either directly (as warm water) or indirectly (via heat exchange systems); and high enthalpy (high temperature) resources, which yield hot water, usually from deeper levels, that can be used to generate electricity. The potential for harnessing electricity from geothermal energy has long been recognised; the potentially substantial reserves, minimal environmental impact, and capacity to contribute continuously to base load electricity supply make it an extremely attractive prospect. The ongoing drive to develop renewable sources of energy, coupled with anticipated technological developments that will in future reduce the depth at which heat reservoirs are considered economically viable, means there is now a pressing need to know more about the deep geothermal energy potential in Scotland. This report contains the British Geological Survey (BGS) contribution to a collaborative project between AECOM and BGS to produce a qualitative assessment of deep geothermal energy potential in onshore Scotland for the Scottish Government. BGS‘s role is to provide the Stage One deliverable ―Identifying and assessing geothermal energy potential‖, comprising an assessment of areas in Scotland most likely to hold deep geothermal resources based on existing geological and geothermal data sets. The report is divided into two parts. Part 1 sets out the background to geothermal energy, describes the geological context, and presents an analysis of the size and accessibility of the heat resource in Scotland based on existing geothermal data. The potential for exploiting deep geothermal energy in three settings in inshore areas of Scotland (abandoned mine workings, Hot Sedimentary Aquifers, and Hot Dry Rocks) is examined in Part 2.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: The Scottish Government, British Geological Survey, Aecom
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer reviewed. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 25 Mar 2020 14:21 +0 (UTC)

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