News

UK government awards funds of US$1.7m to two projects

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, website snapshot
Alexander Richter 24 Dec 2010

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced the winners in the second round of the government's Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund, awarding a share of £1.1m (US$ 1.7m) to three projects.

Reported from the UK, the country’s “Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced the winners in the second round of the government’s Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund, awarding a share of £1.1m (US$ 1.7m) to projects run by Keele University, Newcastle and Durham universities and Cofely District Energy in Southampton.

Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker said: “I want to ensure that geothermal energy – which is both renewable and can be produced locally – can become one of the energy technologies of the future.

“Today’s announcement is an exciting step forward in making this happen here in the UK, and I’m looking forward to seeing these innovative projects get off the ground and working.

“Geothermal sources in the South West of the UK alone have the potential to meet 2% of the country’s annual electricity demand”.

Deep geothermal energy uses the natural heat found kilometres underground to produce electricity and heat at the surface. Geothermal energy is non-intermittent, low-carbon, renewable and could be a valuable technology in diversifying the UK’s energy mix and reducing the UK’s dependence on imported fuels.

The first round concentrated on deep geothermal power, and the two successful Cornwall-based projects continue to move ahead. This second round has concentrated on heat-only projects. The Government continues to see a strong future for all types of deep geothermal energy.

The Deep Geothermal Challenge fund was set up to help companies carry out exploratory work needed to find viable sites for this technology. The funding has been allocated as follows:

GBP500,000 (US$770,000) to Keele University, to drill a 1200m borehole to provide geothermal heat for their proposed sustainable campus; GBP400,000 (US$616,000) to a Newcastle/Durham University project to fund the drilling, hydraulic testing and geophysical logging of a 2km deep borehole at ‘Science Central’, a large development in central Newcastle; GBP200,000 (US$308,000) to Cofely District Energy Limited, to part fund the refit of the Southampton deep geothermal well.”

Source: DECC release