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Scotland’s sewers contain enough natural and discarded heat to warm a city the size of Glasgow for more than four months a year according to new figures released by Scottish Renewables.

The report produced by Scottish Water Horizons revealed that 921 million litres of wastewater and sewage – enough to fill 360 Olympic swimming pools – are flushed down Scots toilets and plugholes every day. By capturing the warmth contained in it, more than 10,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 could be prevented from entering the atmosphere every year. Water in UK sewers can be as warm as 21c, and maintains a constant temperature throughout the year. The figures show how renewable energy technologies such as heat pumps and wastewater recovery systems could be utilised to harness energy.

Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “These new figures show the enormous scale of the energy we are literally flushing away every day. Water which is used in homes and businesses collects heat from the air around it, as in a toilet cistern, or is heated, as in dishwashers and showers. That’s in addition to the energy that it gains from the sun when stored in reservoirs. Technology now exists which allows us to capture that energy, and waste heat can play an important role in helping us reach our challenging climate change targets.”

The Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy proposes that half of all energy (heat, electricity and transport) should come from renewable sources by 2030.

Scottish Renewables Policy Manager Stephanie Clark added: “More than half of the energy consumed in Scotland is in the form of heat. As a society, we take warm homes and workplaces and constant hot water for granted, but it’s vital we reduce the amount of carbon emitted by the sector if we’re to tackle climate change and meet existing and proposed targets.”

Source – UK Construction Online

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