Harnessing the heat
of the earth
Geothermal energy is a home-grown, nationally secure, green energy solution for the decarbonisation of heat.
Geothermal resources are reservoirs of hot water that exist or are human made at varying temperatures and depths below the Earth’s surface. Wells, ranging from a few feet to several miles deep, can be drilled into underground reservoirs to tap steam and very hot water that can be brought to the surface for use in heating and cooling.
The environmental and economic potential of deep geothermal heat in the UK is significant
What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy (the energy stored in the form of heat beneath the earth’s surface) provides a home-grown, nationally secure, low-carbon and green alternative to conventional heating and power generation. By unlocking natural geothermal energy, we are paving the way for a more sustainable future.
Whether through a heating network or directly connected to a building, factory or hospital, Geothermal Heat is the only renewable energy source for flexible, reliable, and sustainable supply.
An ideal solution to the urban deployment of renewable energy, geothermal energy…
…has the smallest surface footprint of any energy source and it runs 24 hours a day, whatever the weather.
…is low in visual impact, with no buildings higher than 10m and it removes the requirement for expensive building retrofits
…is dispatchable with wide temperature applicability, storage potential and can be used for cooling as well as heating
…has high public acceptance – development of geothermal has the backing of business, academics and NGOs
Geothermal heat is a natural form of renewable energy generated from the heat in the earth’s core.
This heat has been harnessed for centuries, with the world’s oldest geothermal district heating system in France, developed in the 14th century. The first modern geothermal district heating plant was developed in 1892 and the first deep geothermal electricity generation plant was developed in Italy in 1904. There are over 400 systems in operation in Europe.
Geothermal is an indigenous source of sustainable energy.
Embracing it would decarbonise heating, reduce our reliance on imports and help to safeguard Britain’s energy security. As a non-extractive, renewable energy source, geothermal heat can play a key role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions and meeting the targets set at COP 26.
Unlike other forms of renewable energy like wind and solar, geothermal heat is constant, switchable and not susceptible to the weather, meaning the energy derived from it is predictable and stable.
Geothermal energy offers a major opportunity for the UK to bolster its energy security with tried and testedproven green technology, saving money on costly imports while creating jobs as part of a just transition from fossil fuels.
What 360 geothermal plants by 2050 means to the UK
Space heating – Equivalent heating for over 2 million homes
Workforce Opportunities >10,000 direct jobs and >25,000 indirect jobs
Heat >3,600MWth capacity (>15,000GWh per year)
Carbon Saving – Up to 3 megaton annual carbon saving