Date lodged: 18 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of how geothermal energy could provide alternative employment opportunities for people who have gained skills and training in the oil and gas sector.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 1 February 2017
The Scottish Government commissioned study into the potential for deep geothermal energy in Scotland (which was published in 2013 and is available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/2800) acknowledged a potential crossover of skilled employment opportunities in the developing geothermal industry for those in the oil and gas, manufacturing and traditional energy-generation sectors.
In addition, one of the four feasibility studies which received financial support in 2015-16 from the Scottish Government’s Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund considered the potential crossover with the oil and gas industry. The Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre deep geothermal single well project feasibility study report (which was published in March 2016 and is available at http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0049/00497878.pdf) recognised that the technical and commercial skills of Aberdeen’s oil and gas supply chain offer a good opportunity for the crossover and transition of skills to geothermal exploration. Support is available, to those oil and gas workers faced with redundancy, to help them transition to other roles or sectors, through the £12million Transition Training Fund, which is nearing the end of its first year in a three-year programme.