Debate on geothermal energy in UK Parliament highlights its potential role for the country

Houses of Parliament, London, UK (source: flickr/ Russell Trow, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 20 Jun 2018

A debate held in the UK Parliament yesterday, highlights the critical role it could play as a renewable energy source for the United Kingdom, particularly for heat networks.

In a debate in the UK Parliament yesterday, the potential for geothermal energy resources in the UK was discussed, highlighting that there indeed is potential for heating and electricity generation, or both in the UK.

In a research briefing shared on June 14, 2018, it is reported that On 4 June 2018, during an adjournment debate on Geothermal Energy: Clackmannanshire, the Minister for Clean Growth Claire Perry set out the Government’s view on Geothermal energy:

“That brings me to the role of geothermal energy, which is a critical part of the renewable energy resource. It can be used in several ways, for example heat networks. The UK Government have set aside over £300 million to invest in district heat networks over the next few years. They are a really important way of bringing it forward. Deep geothermal power is another opportunity to create heat and generate power […]

This is not about finding new resource. The mining legacy has created a lot of holes in the ground beneath our feet, which have filled up with water. The water has become heated and is now available without drilling deep wells. This is relatively easy to set up. I am proud to be working with the Coal Authority and others to consider how we might manage this mining legacy. Across the UK, it has recently been assessed that there are over 2 million GW hours of low carbon energy stored in mine workings across the UK. I feel strongly that we should be looking at how to extract it.

As I said, there are several ways to use this very valuable resource. We can use it as heat to supply homes and businesses. It can help to deliver the clean growth aspects of our industrial strategy, because it can be used to provide heat to certain business sectors. It can also provide opportunities for energy through regeneration and storage. There is a lot of work being done on storage capability. The problem with renewables is that they can be very intermittent. How do we store energy in a liquid state? Deep networks could be a way to help us to lead the world on this going forward. We are looking across the UK to see how we might exploit this great resource.[10]

The Scottish Government have information on their support for geothermal power on their webpage on Geothermal Energy.

Geothermal power is eligible for support under the Contracts for Difference subsidy scheme auctions, though no projects have yet been successful. The Government also have previously supported Geothermal through funding, such as the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund.


Note: Exciting to see ThinkGeoEnergy being highlighted as a resource for the UK Parliament debate on the Potential for geothermal energy resources in the UK.

Source: Research Briefings, Parliament, UK