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GT Energy receives grant for geothermal work in Ireland

Killiney townland, south County Dublin (source: flickr/ infomatique, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 22 Jun 2010

Irish GT Energy, specialising in deep geothermal energy, has secured a grant of EUR162,000 (US$200,000) from Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) for a geothermal viability study in the south County Dublin, Ireland.

“GT Energy, an Irish-owned company specialising in deep geothermal energy, has secured a grant of EUR162,000 (US$200,000) from Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI)”, so recent news from Ireland.

“The funding will be used to determine the viability of geothermal energy sources in locations in south County Dublin.

Geothermal energy is a renewable and sustainable energy source generated from the heat in the Earth’s core. It is harnessed by drilling deep holes into the ground and extracting hot water, which can be used to provide heat and, in some instances, produce electricity.

‘‘We are the first company in Ireland and Britain to focus on the harnessing of deep geothermal energy and believe the technology has real potential in the Dublin area,” said Padraig Hanly, managing director, GT Energy.

‘‘Through previous studies, we have estimated that geothermal energy could have the potential to provide up to 20MWelectrical capacity and 100MWof base load thermal energy , which would be equivalent of providing heat to 100,000 homes.”

Hanly said that the company would carry out surface geophysical works to gather information on deep geological structures in south Dublin.

The work would, he added, help the company to determine the feasibility of harnessing geothermal energy for the wider Dublin area. GT Energy was established in 2007 to explore and drive opportunities in the deep geothermal energy sector.

In addition to Dublin, the company has identified a number of other potential sites for deep geothermal energy in Ireland and Britain.

GT Energy recently closed first-round funding led by NCB corporate finance, and secured grant aid from the British government for a pilot project in Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Commenting on the development of the Dublin project, Hanlys aid that GT Energy had already drilled two test wells in south County Dublin in 2007 and 2008 on foot of geothermal research released by SEAI.

‘‘The next step, after the geophysical studies we are conducting at the moment, will be to drill a further test well to a depth of about 3,500 metres. This will allow us to determine the capacity of the resource throughout south Dublin.

‘‘Following a successful drilling operation, we would hope to build out a demonstration/ pilot project to demonstrate the use of the resource and to determine the exact commercial parameters of delivering heat and electricity to end users.

The study will help to provide evidence to policy-makers when designing future supports such as REFIT schemes,” he said.

Katrina Polaski, SEAI’s head of low carbon technologies, said that Ireland’s renewable energy sector was growing rapidly.

‘‘The country is already becoming one of the world’s leading countries in the use of wind energy for electricity generation.

However, it is important that we continue to develop and bring on stream a mix of other renewable energy sources that would be able to contribute to meeting Ireland’s future energy needs,” she said.

‘‘We firmly believe deep geothermal energy could be one such technology and what makes it particularly attractive is its ability to contribute to both the heat and electricity targets.”

Source: The Post