The Scottish Government is funding almost a quarter of a million pounds for five geothermal projects.
The Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund is providing more than £234,000 to research how geothermal energy can be used for heating.
The projects in Fife, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire will explore the technical feasibility, economic viability and environmental sustainability of the technology.
The government claims these projects will show how geothermal energy could cut the estimated £2.6 billion a year spent on heating by householders and businesses.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Heat is estimated to account for over half of Scotland’s total energy use and is responsible for nearly half of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions so it makes sense that we explore and grow technologies such as geothermal energy.
“These projects will help improve our understanding of this renewable energy source and the contribution it can make to helping Scotland reduce its carbon emissions.”