A report released this week by the Renewable Energy Association reveals the huge potential for deep geothermal energy in the UK. Produced by independent geothermal engineering experts SKM, the report reveals that the hot rocks deep below our feet could provide as much power as nine nuclear power stations and as much heat as is used in the UK for space heating in one year. This raises the exciting prospect of a network of geothermal generation stations producing huge amounts of low carbon, sustainable and continuous power and heat. Geothermal energy could increase the UK's energy security and contribute to meeting our targets on climate change and renewable energy.
Cluff Geothermal expect to play a leading role in developing the geothermal energy sector in the UK. The REA report estimates that the ‘Weardale granite’ – a huge mass of granite entirely below ground, and the ultimate source for deep heat in the North East - has the potential to produce 9,000MW of direct heat. This is enough to meet the entire heating needs of the region. Through their Technical Director Professor Paul Younger and via the company’s strong links to Newcastle University, Cluff has an outstanding knowledge of the geology and geothermal potential of the North East, and are planning to drill a borehole near Shiremoor in North Tyneside to exploit the deep heat.
George Percy, Cluff Geothermal's managing director, said:
"This welcome report shows the enormous amount of energy available to the UK from geothermal sources. Geothermal energy could ultimately heat millions of UK homes and businesses, and provide as much power as a fleet of large power stations. At a time when the UK is facing a difficult energy future, we can no longer afford to ignore the huge reserves of energy beneath our feet.”
“We expect our exciting Shiremoor project will be one of the first of many such projects that will turn this vision into reality. Looking to the future, we hope that the Government will take notcie of this report and give the geothermal industry the support it needs to grow into a sustainable sector able to fulfil its full potential to meet the UK's energy needs.”