£31.6m boost to use North Sea water for heating homes

Fergus Ewing: Action is imperative. Picture: John Devlin
Fergus Ewing: Action is imperative. Picture: John Devlin
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Hundreds of Scottish homes could soon be heated by the freezing waters of the North Sea after an energy project was given a £1.6 million cash boost.

The scheme is one of three in Scotland to use pumps to extract heat from water.

Projects in Shetland, Clydebank and Glasgow, will use innovative technology to heat homes and businesses from the sea and river water, cutting harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

A total of £1.6m went to a scheme to heat 225 homes in Lerwick, Shetland, by pumping water from the North Sea, while a project to use water from the Clyde to create a district heating network at Queens Quay on the site of the former John Brown shipyard in Clydebank was awarded £75,000. A further £75,000 went to a scheme aimed at pumping water from the River Kelvin to heat buildings at the new Glasgow University campus planned for the site of the former Western Infirmary.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “Heat is estimated to account for over half of Scotland’s total energy use so the imperative to take action is very clear. Continued growth in the number of homes and businesses benefiting from connecting to low carbon, affordable warmth provided by district heating networks helps the Scottish Government increase the number of connections to district heating networks by 2020.”