Plans to drill a deep geothermal well beneath the city of Aberdeen could deliver heating to thousands of nearby homes and an exhibition centre as Scotland looks to accelerate progress towards its goal of 11% non-electrical heat demand coming from renewable sources by 2020. A Government-funded report suggests that the new demonstration scheme, which would exploit geothermal energy through a pipe stretching almost 1.2 miles into the ground, could help position the region as a global energy hub and heighten the potential of this form of energy for the rest of the UK. Aberdeen City Council says it is “willing to support” a bid to fund the “fracking free” scheme which would provide a decarbonised heat supply to local dwellings and the proposed Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC). According to the latest figures from the Scottish Government, Scotland produced enough heat from renewable sources to meet between 3.7% and 3.8% of non-electrical heat demand in 2014 – up from 1% in 2009 but still a long way short of the 11% target set for 2020. Last summer, the Scottish Government released a new policy roadmap which set out its approach to decarbonising the heat system. The Heat Policy Statement outlined a number of new approaches to renewable heat, such as the designation of energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority, and the funding of feasibility studies into the potential for geothermal energy in Scotland.