Closed-loop geothermal for heating target by Irish startup,

Closed-loop geothermal for heating target by Irish startup, Coast in Ireland (source: flickr/ Basheer Tome, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 29 Jun 2021

Irish startup CausewayGT targets closed-loop geothermal approach to develop geothermal heating systems in Ireland and the UK.

Earlier this month we reported on the establishment Causeway GT, a new geothermal energy company in Ireland established by Irish energy industry veterans.

CausewayGT’s mission is to harness critical, clean geothermal energy, in Ireland, and everywhere. The plan is to be developing cutting-edge technology, working in balance with nature to provide locally sourced, clean, reliable heat on demand for industrial and commercial customers.

Industry and commercial use of heat for medium temperature processes (below 200 °C) produces over 10% of global greenhouse gases today, and the vast majority of this energy is delivered by burning fossil fuels. Our objective is to harness geothermal energy to supply that heat for business and other customers, increasing their energy independence, reducing their carbon footprint and doing so at a very competitive price point.

The company was formed in Ireland and the UK with the goal of combining technologies from multiple industries to deliver clean geothermal heat for more sustainable business globally. The highly advanced technologies and innovations we will harness makes it possible for us to tap into the natural heat source beneath the ground in Ireland in a more efficient and effective way than has been possible in the past.

In an interview with EnergyFlux, Simon Todd, co-founder of CausewayGT, talks about the opportunities and challenges in the geothermal sphere and describes how CausewayGT “believes innovation can turn the currently niche resource into a mainstream clean heat solution”.

Describing “open loop systems”, the traditional hydrothermal resources and energy utilization of the Western U.S., Indonesia, New Zealand, Iceland and others as limited, he sees the approach of “closed loop systems” (also referred to as “advanced geothermal systems”), tapping heat with conductive fluids through wells, as a key to exploit the wider available “mid- and low-temperature resource zones.”

Answering critics of the considered too slow conductivity to allow for sufficient heat transfer, he sees technology optimisation and economics as the answer. In differentiation to the North American players GreenFire Energy, Eavor Technologies and Sage Geosystems, who seem to focus on electricity generation, CausewayGT will focus on heat.

The key element, according to Todd, will be to bring down the levelized-cost-of-electricity (LCOE) of closed-loop to levels of current open-loop systems. Lazard’s October 2020 LCOE analysis puts the conventional geothermal in a range of $59-101 per produced MWh of electricity. The goal would be to bring down the cost also for low- and mid-temperature sites, they would “offer a viable solution for widespread decarbonisation of heat.”

CausewayGT, so Todd, will focus on Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain and after that looking at overseas expansion.

An initial demonstrator project will be the first step for the company, followed by some R&D phase, clearly with the goal then in a third phase of full scale commercial plants.

Source: Company release, and