With the move towards sustainable, low carbon energy in the UK, alongside a need for long-term energy security, a range of renewable energy sources are under consideration by national and devolved governments in the UK. Some, like wind energy, are well-developed, whilst others have barely entered the public consciousness. One such source is geothermal energy. In this article, Professor Cathy Hollis from The University of Manchester explores the untapped potential of geothermal energy and outlines policy recommendations to expedite this.
Geothermal energy is probably best known for its capability to provide power in volcanically active settings, such as Iceland. However, extraction of heat from the subsurface in less geologically active countries is also possible, by drilling to depths of up to 5km in the Earth’s crust using conventional drilling technologies. This allows warm water, which resides in pores within the rock, to be pumped to the surface. This water is naturally heated by the Earth, as the temperature of the Earth increases with depth – the ‘geothermal gradient’ – usually by around 20 to 50°C per kilometre.
Enteq Technologies plc (LON:NTQ) develops and supplies equipment for Measurement, Logging and Geo-steering while drilling of wells for the Geothermal, Oil and Gas markets.