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Deep geothermal energy ‘could produce up to 20% of UK electricity’ T ...

Deep geothermal energy ‘could produce up to 20% of UK electricity’ The UK’s deep geothermal energy resource has potential to produce up to 20% of total electricity and heat for millions of homes, according to a new technical report by engineering consultants Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM). The report concludes that the resource is widely spread around the UK with ‘hot spots’ in Cornwall, Weardale, the Lake District, East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Worcester, Dorset, Hampshire, Northern Ireland and Scotland; and that the cost reduction potential from today’s levels is exceptionally high. The UK’s deep geothermal resources could provide 9.5 GW of baseload renewable electricity - equivalent to nearly nine nuclear power stations; and over 100 GW of heat, which could supply sufficient heat to meet the space heating demand in the UK. The SKM report was published as the geothermal power industry awaits the Renewables Obligation (RO) banding review, which will determine whether or not the coalition government will back the UK geothermal industry. The industry has been shocked by initial proposals to freeze support for deep geothermal power at 2 ROCs, a level too low to stimulate domestic investment, says the renewable Energy Association (REA). Deep geothermal power is a new technology in the UK and it requires similar support to wave and tidal in its initial development phase. Despite this significant potential, the UK support regime is uncompetitive with other European countries, adds SKM, with the UK industry seeing only around half the levels of support available in Germany and Switzerland. As a result of support in Germany, the deep geothermal industry now employs 6,000 people and has attracted €4bn of investment.

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