Heat from Scottish water could save € 300 million

Using heat pumps in the rivers and lochs of Scotland could save businesses in the country around € 300 million annually on bills.
Using heat pumps in the rivers and lochs of Scotland could save businesses in the country around € 300 million  a year on bills.

According to David Pearson, from Star Renewable Energy, which conducted the new research, heat pumps have the potential to save Scottish businesses € 300 million  a year – enough to employ almost 10,000 people at the country’s average salary.

The technology, which was hailed as “game changing” by Energy Secretary Ed Davey last month, can use water as cool as 2°C to heat offices, warehouses, homes and public buildings. By comparison, the average temperature of a Scottish river is 5°C.

It is estimated that heat pumps taking water from the River Kelvin could save Glasgow University € 2 million a year off its € 2,4 million gas bill. At Cranhill housing estate, in the east of the city, the use of water from the Camlachie Burn, which flows under 200 homes, could reduce heating costs by 80%.

In Edinburgh, it is estimated the city’s airport could reduce its energy costs by 80%, using water from the River Almond, which flows alongside its runway.

Star Refrigeration has already successfully deployed the technology at high temperatures in the Norwegian City of Drammen, where heat is harvested from a chilly fjord to heat the equivalent of 6,000 houses. The heat is achieved at a cost of 20% of burning gas, and with zero carbon footprint or local emissions from burning fuel.

Pearson said that an exact replica of the Drammen industrial heat pump run in the UK can generate enough heating for 6000 homes, cut CO2 emissions by 14,050 tonnes a year, and save € 1825 p.a. per household for 20 years.

Star’s pioneering large scale heat pump technology is claimed to achieve temperatures of up to 90°C – 45°C warmer than conventional heat pumps – at the same efficiency, using non ozone-depleting natural refrigerants with zero global warming potential.