Abstract

Scotland is committed to be a carbon-neutral society by 2040 and has achieved the important initial step of decarbonizing power production. However, more ambitious measures are required to fully decarbonize all of the electricity, transport and heating sectors.

We explore the potential to use low-carbon GeoEnergy resources and bioenergy combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) in the Midland Valley area to decarbonize the Scottish economy and society. The Midland Valley has a long history of geological resource extraction and, as a result, the geology of the region is well characterized.

Geothermal energy and subsurface energy storage have the potential to be implemented. Some of them, such as gravity and heat storage, could re-use the redundant mining infrastructure to decrease investment costs. Hydrogen storage could be of particular interest as the Midland Valley offers the required caprock–reservoir assemblages. BECCS is also a promising option to reduce overall CO2 emissions by between 1.10 and 4.40 MtCO2 a−1. The Midland Valley has enough space to grow the necessary crops, but CO2 storage will most likely be implemented in North Sea saline aquifers. The studied aspects suggest that the Midland Valley represents a viable option in Scotland for the exploitation of the majority of low-carbon GeoEnergy resources.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the ‘Early Career Research’ available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/SJG-early-career-research

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