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NZ governments funds research on deep, very high temperature geothermal resources

MB Century drilling rig on site in Taupo, NZ (source: MB Century)
Alexander Richter 16 Sep 2019

GNS Science has received funding of ca NZ$11 million (around USD 7 million) for a research project on the utilisation of deep, superheated geothermal fluids.

The Government of New Zealand has announced it is investing $241 million in leading research projects that will help find new ways to address long-term issues like increasing our sources of renewable energy, growing knowledge-intensive industries, and tackling New Zealand’s social issues says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.

The Endeavour Fund uses an open, contestable process to select excellent research proposals that will provide the highest potential impacts across a range of economic, environmental and societal objectives. This year, 71 projects were awarded funding through the fund which is New Zealand’s largest contestable research fund.

The successful projects can be found here.

Among the projects is a geothermal project by GNS Science, as reported by Voxy.co.nz.  The project led by Dr. Isabelle Chambefort is working on how to tap deep, very high temperature resources.

“Our science will deliver new options to significantly reduce emissions – as well as providing vital regional perspective and opportunities for iwi and regional development,” GNS Science chief executive Ian Simpson says.

The idea is to utlise deep superheated geothermal fluids, that could provide new options for the energy needs of emerging industries like the hydrogen economy.

“The Government is funding important research to tackle the big issues, and improve living standards and wellbeing through productive, inclusive and sustainable economic development. The fund does this by backing research that is aimed at growing R&D intensive industries, transitioning to a low emissions economy and supporting the well-being of our people and communities.

“This year we will see $37 million will go to projects to help our transition to a low emissions and climate resilient economy, through the development of new energy opportunities and new materials. Projects like the GNS Science led ‘Geothermal: The next generation’ will look for new ways to extract geothermal energy at greater depths.

“$91 million is being invested in projects that help to create and grow knowledge-intensive industries, including the Plant & Food Research-led ‘Re-imagining aquaculture’, which will develop low-impact offshore technologies to transform finfish production in New Zealand.

“We’ve also funded a wide range of social research so that we can find ways to reduce child poverty, and prison violence, and improved child protection services. Performing research in these areas is crucial to turning the tide on the negative statistics we face on these issues.

“The quality of the projects funded this year demonstrates New Zealand’s growing strength in applying leading edge science to help improve the lives of New Zealanders,” Megan Woods said.

Source: Government release via Scoop, Voxy