The Scottish Government has launched a £250,000 fund to tap into the potential of geothermal energy.
Organisations can bid for up to £50,000 each for feasibility studies from the Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund.
They would have to benefit local communities and achieve carbon reductions.
Geothermal energy uses water pipes drilled deep in the ground to bring up heat from the earth to generate electricity.
Heat is estimated to account for more than half of Scotland’s total energy use, with around £2.6 billion a year spent on heating by householders and the non-domestic sector.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland already has two successful small-scale housing projects in Glenalmond Street, Shettleston and Lumphinnans, Fife, which use water from disused mines to provide heat for members of the local community.
“Now is the time to take the experience of the housing projects and take the first steps towards the development of a delivery model which reduces carbon emissions, is self-sustaining and is economically viable.”
The deadline for applications is 30th April 2015.