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UK urged to access ‘untapped potential’ of geothermal energy for affordable, reliable power | Science | News


Russian gas cuts have raised the alarm across Europe as tightened supplies threaten to further push up the already staggeringly high bills seen across the continent. While Britain only gets 4 percent of its gas from Russia, the provision squeezes are having a knock-on effect on UK consumers because of the integrated nature of the gas market, threatening to push hundreds of thousands of households into fuel poverty.

And with horror price cap warnings revealing that Britons can have to fork out around £4,200 to repay the utmost annual tariff on their energy bills by January, the situation appears dire.

This has prompted experts and ministers to call for a rapid boost to the UK’s supplies of homegrown energy to shield it from the volatile international gas markets that are worsening the cost-of-living crisis.

In accordance with Dr Corinna Abesser, from the British Geological Survey, one solution might be boosting the UK’s capability for geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy is heat created and stored in the bottom and is a source of low-carbon, renewable energy.

Available throughout the UK, Express.co.uk has previously reported on the abundance of the energy source that Britain could tap into to unleash this low-cost and clean energy source.

Karl Williams, Director for the Centre of Waste Management on the University of Central Lancashire told Express.co.uk back in July: “The UK has excellent potential for geothermal energy.

“We’re fortunate that we are able to utilise all the differing types of geothermal energy recovery.

“We’re fortunate that we are able to utilise all the differing types of geothermal energy recovery.

“From ground source heat pumps providing low-level heat, to recovery of mine water energy – a legacy of our industrial heritage – all the best way as much as granite infusion and temperatures in excess of 130C.”

But in accordance with Dr Abesser, regulatory systems, licensing and management are urgently needed for the UK’s geothermal sector to take off.
Dr Abesser also argues that Government support is required to assist develop the sector, which could provide heat or power all 12 months long, irrespective of the weather.

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Currently, geothermal technologies deliver lower than 0.3 percent of the UK’s annual heat demand, Dr Abesser notes in an opinion piece for Energy Voice.

She adds that Britain is barely using a fraction of the estimated available geothermal heat resources available.

Dr Abesser writes that the problems lies with, in accordance with some stakeholders, “the absence of long-term targets and policies that support the event of skills, supply chains and a service industry”.

She claims these are among the “predominant the reason why geothermal energy within the UK has fallen behind that of other, similar countries”.

She adds that there’s a lack of awareness concerning the “application of geothermal technologies within the UK”, which can require “long-term Government support to develop pilot projects and expand the industry”.

Dr Abesser concludes: “Developing the geothermal sector and realising this untapped potential, could provide considerable economic stimulus and employment opportunities.

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“This might include the redeployment of technologies and employees from the oil and gas industry, the latter having many transferable skills and experiences in risk assessment and mitigation, deep-drilling, reservoir development and management.”

This comes as after Mr Williams pinpointed three locations which can be perfect for harnessing geothermal energy within the UK.

The most effective areas where geothermal energy could be extracted are reportedly areas where “hot rocks” granite is near the surface.

He told Express.co.uk: “Cornwall is top-of-the-line areas within the UK and has at all times been the predominant focus for geothermal energy.

“For instance, the Eden project is investing in geothermal energy at its site.

“The opposite obvious area can be Aberdeen, which is wealthy in granite.

“This area has the advantage that it’s the centre for oil and gas exploitation and far of the processes and technologies are the identical so Aberdeen already has the talents and know-how.

“The old coal mine areas of the North East may be good contenders, but mine water is a lower temperature and lends itself more to large scale applications just like ground source heat pumps.”

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