Heating Glasgow’s homes at low cost


Map: Scotland’s disused coalfields

In the Guardian today:

‘Scientists are finalising plans to exploit the vast reservoir of warm water that fills a labyrinth of disused mines and porous rock layers underneath Glasgow. They believe this subterranean store of naturally heated water could be used to warm homes in the city. If the system proves successful, such water could then be exploited in other cities and towns across Britain, they say. The £9m project will initially involve drilling narrow boreholes filled with instruments to survey temperature, seismic activity, water flow, acidity and other variables to establish the state of the water in the rocks below the city. The aim will be to establish whether this warm water can be extracted for long periods to heat Glaswegian homes.’


Similar reports have already been posted here, at:

Clydebank homes to be heated using heat pump technology drawing water from the Clyde, 165 years after it was first suggested

Glasgow could heat thousands of homes from heat pumps placed on vacant ‘brownfield’ sites

Footnote: A glance at the map above suggests even greater prospects in Fife.

2 thoughts on “Heating Glasgow’s homes at low cost

  1. Ludo Thierry April 9, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    That’s the SNP all over – always landing Scotland in hot water. SNP Baaaaaad.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Alasdair Macdonald. April 10, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    I recall a conversation with a now retired Glasgow engineer who worked in energy production, who had an idea for a system similar to that described of establishing a system of narrow bore pipes through such strata where there is substantial heat. His idea was that the pipes would contain water which was pumped through the pipes, was heated below ground and, on return to the surface, though heat exchangers, energy was transferred to tanks of water which was then used to provide district heating.

    He was proposing this as an alternative to fracking because it was not extracting any material from the deep-lying strata, unlike fracking which entails fracturing the strata to release gas to be collected at the surface and burned as a fossil fuel, producing greenhouse gases and possibly other pollutants. Thus, apart from the penetration by the pipes, the structure of the strata was maintained and there was no loss of material.

    Like all heat pump systems the Second Law of Thermodynamics still ‘rules’ and the issue is one of efficiency – is the proportion of heart transferred underground and then at the surface sufficient to ‘pay’ for the cost of pumping, installing the infrastructure, maintaining it and producing some kind of profit?

    I recall reading somewhere that President George W Bush had such a system at his Texas ranch around 20 years ago. The Bush family fortune was made in the energy business, mainly oil, so, it is interesting that he was using renewable sources for his personal property.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s