Consortium to investigate geothermal energy Scotland

03 July 2015

A consortium of researchers, consisting of Geothermal Engineering, Arup and St. Andrews University, has been awarded a £45,000 contract by the Scottish Government to investigate geothermal energy. The team will explore the deployment of Deep Geothermal Single Well technology at the proposed Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, hoping to present a coherent case to move forward with the technology.

Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund
In Scotland heath accounts for more than half of the total energy use and for nearly half of its greenhouse gas emissions. Following a 2012-2013 study that identified a significant potential for geothermal* heat as a renewable heat source, and as part of its commitment to support research into this subject, the Scottish Government set up the Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund. The fund, which is the first project of the Government as part of its Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, totals a sum of £234,025.

A number of consortia applied for the fund, after which five feasibility project teams were selected that will target sites in Fife, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire to explore the technical feasibility, economic viability and environmental sustainability of the emerging technology.

Consortium to investigate geothermal energy Scotland

Deep Geothermal Single Well
Among the awarded consortium, is the team of Geothermal Engineering (GEL), consulting firm Arup and St. Andrews University. The partners, led by GEL, secured £45,000 of funding and will investigate the feasibility of implementing Deep Geothermal Single Well (DGSW) technology** at the proposed Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC). Their aim is to present a case that allows them ‘to go forward’ with the drilling and installation of a 2km DGSW to provide renewable heat to the AECC.

Commenting on the funding, Matthew Free, Director at Arup, says: “It is great to see the Scottish Government supporting innovative geothermal energy solutions. It is smart, close to zero carbon, sustainable, local and economical – that is a nice combination.”

Ryan Law, Managing Director at GEL, adds: “We are excited to be working with the Scottish Government to start delivering sustainable heat from the deep geothermal resource.  The AECC site is an excellent opportunity to showcase both our new DGSW technology and to show how Scotland can use its existing oil and gas skill sets to deliver renewable energy projects.  Working with Arup will help to ensure that we deliver the first of many DGSW projects in Scotland.”

* Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth, ranging from hot water, to hot rocks, to magma.

** The DGSW technology was successfully tested by GEL in 2014 at an existing deep well in England and shown to achieve significant carbon savings.