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UK geothermal potential identified in 2012 report


A report on the geothermal heat and electricity potential of the UK from a global consultancy firm has confirmed the potential identified by GT Energy in the UK market.

Geothermal potential in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the first thorough report on geothermal energy since the 1970s, shows that there is massive potential in the UK for geothermal heat delivery.

Potential equal to UK heat demand

The independent report was carried out by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), a global consultancy firm with direct involvement in more than 3,000MW of geothermal development across 20 countries.

According to SKM, worldwide renewed interest in the geothermal industry prompted it to revisit the potential in the UK, where there is little activity.

The report says there is total heat potential of 100,000MW – equivalent to the total heat demand of the entire UK.

A scenario analysis conducted by SKM indicates 4,000MW could be commercially delivered by 2030 (just 4% of the resource potential).

Exciting project in pipeline

Development of this potential by GT Energy will enable it to deliver long-term sustainable heat to community heating schemes, private customers, public bodies, hospitals, utilities and universities.

The SKM report comes ahead of an announcement GT Energy will make later in 2012 about a geothermal project that will be the largest of its kind in the UK.

Padraig Hanly, MD of GT Energy says: “We are aiming to be the market leader in the delivery of geothermal heat and have set ourselves a target of delivering 500MW. This is enough heat for about 500,000 homes.”

Furthermore, Hanly adds: “The report highlights a number of areas that GT Energy is currently targeting, a resource potential that could heat millions of homes. 

“We have been busy securing sites prime for geothermal development across Northern Ireland and Britain, and are well positioned to be first to market in geothermal heat delivery.”

The energy potential estimates of the report are based on the internationally recognized Australian Geothermal Reporting Code, a guide to the reporting of geothermal data to the market, similar to the JORC code. 

According to the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK, the scale of the UK opportunity could be similar to Germany, which has a deep geothermal industry that employs 6,000 people and has attracted €4 billion of investment.

Copies of the SKM report can be requested via enquiries@globalskm.com or by visiting www.globalskm.com

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