New startup targeting geothermal development in Ireland

New startup targeting geothermal development in Ireland Irish flag (source: flickr/ Iker Merodio, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 13 Jun 2021

New startup targeting geothermal development in the Republic of Ireland utilising know-how and technology from the oil and gas exploration sector.

Several former oil executives, including the former CEO of Petroceltic, a publicly quoted oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, have established a new venture focused on geothermal energy.

The company, so the Irish Times, is aiming to use oil and gas industry drilling technology to tap geothermal energy in Ireland.

Ireland-registered Causeway GT, was established by Brian O’Cathain (formerly Petroceltic), as well as a number of former executives from the oil and gas exploration industry. Current startup staff includes Dr Niall McCormack, former vice-president of BHP, Dr Simon Todd, formerly head of operations and safety with BP, geoscientist Helen Doran and reservoir engineer Alison Isherwood.

While the company website is not giving away much in the context of what it plans, it is planning to develop geothermal projects to provide electricity as well as heating and cooling to industrial and commercial customers. With increasing carbon emission reduction goals, the heat sector still the largest carbon emitter, is an attractive target to decarbonise, so Mr. O’Cathain. According to the article, the Irish heat market is estimated at around EUR 3 billion (around USD 3.7 billion), currently producgin around 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

So while Ireland might not have similar high heat resources like the volcanic regions, such as Iceland or New Zealand, there is lower temperature geothermal potential in the Republic of Ireland.

We previously reported on funding for geothermal research in Ireland as well as potential geothermal aquifer beneath the city of Dublin and offshore resources.

Causeway GT plans to apply new drilling technologies developed in the U.S. over the past 20 years and adopt them for geothermal drilling. The company plans a capital raising campaign in about 12 months from now.

The Geothermal Association of Ireland estimates that the “main barrier to the development of deep geothermal energy resources in Ireland remains the lack of deep geological information for potential deep geothermal plays and understanding the contributions these could have to renewable heating and cooling.” (EGEC, “Geothermal Energy Use, Country Update for Ireland“, 2019)

Source: Irish Times