Geothermal Projects Share 1.1M Prize


"Funding will help assess the viability of a number of sites."

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has today announced the winners in the second round of the government's Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund, awarding a share of 1.1M to projects run by Keele University, Newcastle and Durham universities and Cofely District Energy in Southampton.

The funding will help the three projects assess the viability of a number of different sites for commercial-scale geothermal energy generation.

Keele University has received 500,000 to drill a 1,200 meter borehole on its proposed sustainable campus, while Newcastle and Durham universities will receive 400,000 for a two kilometer borehole at the planned Science DCentral development in Newcastle.

Cofely District Energy will receive 200,000 to help fund the refit of Southampton's existing deep geothermal well.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker claimed that the latest funding underlines the government's commitment to the geothermal sector, citing figures suggesting that the technology could provide up to two per cent of the country's electricity.

"I want to ensure that geothermal energy, which is renewable and can be produced locally, can become one of the energy technologies of the future," he said.

"Today's announcement is an exciting step forward in making this happen here in the U.K., and I am looking forward to seeing these innovative projects get off the ground."

The government has said that it remains committed to expanding the U.K.'s embryonic geothermal industry, but has faced criticism from some in the sector after announcing earlier this year that it will halve the amount of money available for the second round of the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund, saving around 1M as part of its new budget settlement.

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