Scotland recently adopted the toughest statutory carbon target of any country in the world for 2030 by aiming to reduce emissions by 75%. Heat accounts for 52% of Scotland’s energy demand and ~41% of carbon emissions. Significant progress will be required to decarbonise heat, as Scotland’s renewable heat capacity (as a percentage of gross consumption) is the lowest of any country in Europe. Minewater geothermal is potentially a crucial technology for the decarbonisation of Scotland's heat supply. 600km³ of flooded mineworkings sit under Scotland's populated Central Belt region, potentially providing up to 40% of national heat demand.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have won early stage funding to develop plans to tap into the geothermal energy contained within disused, flooded coal mines in Scotland. The HotScot project is one of 17 shortlisted submissions across the UK chosen by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund to develop a full-stage bid that could lead to significant economic growth.