Call to support clean green energy from Midlothian's former coalmines
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP) has called on the UK government to deliver a clear roadmap to capitalise on the “immense” potential of geothermal energy in Scotland, particularly for Scotland’s former coalfield communities.
Mr Thompson led a debate in the House of Commons last week on opportunities for geothermal energy extraction.
During the debate he urged the UK government to offer clear support to help develop geothermal. Warm water extracted from flooded mines has the potential to be used in district heating systems, plugging critical gaps in Scotland’s local and national heat needs as we move towards net zero.
A study conducted by Sage in 2018 estimated that the quantity of heat available from deep geothermal resources and flooded mines was approximately 100 years’ worth of heat supply for the entire UK.
Commenting, Mr Thompson said: “Geothermal has immense potential in Scotland, particularly for former coal mining communities such as Midlothian. Taking advantage of our old mining legacy to extract heat from the Earth is a tremendously exciting prospect for jobs and the local economy.
“The potential for community heating schemes on old coalfields has been shown by many feasibility studies, including the Shawfair Minewater Project on the former Monktonhall colliery site. Yet transferring studies into success depends on clear policies and government commitment.
"Perhaps unsurprisingly, the findings of the research was powered forward in the Netherlands while Midlothian never saw the benefits.
“That is why I am calling on the UK government to take these proposals seriously. By constructing a clear roadmap on how to successfully capitalise on the immense potential of geothermal energy, Scotland could meet its local and national heat targets and achieve its ambitious emission reduction targets.
“We have seen some of our European neighbours with similar potential capitalise on the potential of geothermal. Scotland can do the same. By working together to create clear financial incentives, clear regulations and help develop geothermal, we can transform this immense potential into a reality.”