New £9m geo-thermal energy research centre to be built in Glasgow

Glasgow is one of two sites proposed in the £31 million UK Geo-energy Observatories Project led by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) –  the UK’s main agency for funding environmental sciences – and the British Geological Survey (BGS), the UK’s leading research centre in geoscience.

The focus of the research at the Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site would be geothermal energy. This major project will provide infrastructure for future research opportunities. A second site is to be based in England.

The Scottish centre will be built in either the ‘Clyde Gateway’ area in the east end of Glasgow or in neighbouring Rutherglen in South Lanarkshire – despite geo-thermal energy being almost totally absent from the Scot-Govt’s draft Scottish Energy Strategy.

The Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site would be a £9 million project to explore the potential of geothermal energy for the benefit of local communities, as well as offering the opportunity for other areas of innovation and research into the subsurface. 

The project aims to create an opportunity for research in relation to the geothermal energy potential of the warm waters in the large expanse of disused coal mines under Glasgow. It may be possible to use that water for geothermal energy to heat homes and businesses.

The field site proposed for the Clyde Gateway area would comprise of a number of boreholes of various depths to create the opportunity to research the area’s geology and underground water systems. Measurements would be taken from boreholes, such as temperature, water movement and water chemistry, and the data will be monitored and assessed in the coming years.

Professor John Luddon, Executive Director, British Geological Survey, said: “This has the potential to be a world-class research site, attracting globally-leading scientists and engineers, building on Glasgow’s history as a trailblazing city of science.

“Realising the potential of geothermal energy in Clyde Gateway may create opportunities for the UK to lead the way in providing safe and sustainable energy for former mining communities around the world.”

To find out more about the proposed Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site, visit the BGS at The Legacy Hub, Dalmarnock, Glasgow on Tuesday 5 September 2017 between 14:00 and 20:00.

To find out more about the UK Geoenergy Observatories Project and environmental science that NERC funds, visit and join us at the NERC showcase; UnEarthed. Explore the world at your feet.

The showcase will be a free event for all at the Dynamic Earth centre in Edinburgh from 17-20 November 2017. See for more details.

15 Aug 2017

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