Britain’s burgeoning geothermal sector could generate 50,000 jobs and avoid 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

That’s the belief of technologists and academics backing the nation’s first ever National Geothermal Centre, launched today.

Based at Stockton-on-Tees and supported by the Net Zero Technology Centre, Durham University, SHIFT Geothermal, and the Reece Foundation, donors to engineering innovators in the north-east, the NGC aims to nurture Britain’s exploitation of shaft-delivered, subterranean heat by stimulating research and innovation. Developing expertise, and advising entrepreneurs and policy-makers in forming a policy, regulation and investment framework which enables geothermal advancement, are among the centre’s remit.

The new body will drive collaboration between government, industry, and academia, championing the integration of geothermal energy into the UK’s impending renewables mix, as a low carbon option to heat homes and industries and in power generation.

Britain’s geothermal centres look primarily at sinking shafts into hot rocks thousands of metres below the surface, and pumping up super-heated ground water & gases. Government sources assert that geothermal could contribute mightily the nation’s energy targets and economy, meeting 10GW of the projected heating demand and 1.5GW of the anticipated electricity demand by 2050.

The centre is now on a mission to engage with geothermal practitioners & developers, bidding to speed uptake of applicable projects.

NGC director Anne Murrell, second from right in the picture, said: “Geothermal energy is the foundation of energy security in the UK. It is an inexhaustible source of clean heat and power beneath our feet. The new UK National Geothermal Centre will work to unearth it.

“Already in the UK geothermal projects are providing stable, low-cost, green energy to homes and businesses. With its expert stakeholders from industry, academia, finance and government, the NGC will expand geothermal development, at speed and at scale.”

“Geothermal has been my personal passion for over 20 years”, enthused Dr Charlotte Adams, another NGC director, standing next to Murrell.  “I remain convinced of its potential for reducing carbon emissions and improving energy security.

“The timing is perfect for launching the National Geothermal Centre, it will shape and accelerate our growing geothermal sector through collaborative cross-sector working. The Centre will ultimately help to unlock geothermal for more people and secure its’ position as an essential part of our low carbon energy mix.”

Nigel Lees, Chair of the NGC, said: “The launch of the National Geothermal Centre today represents a significant step in realising the opportunities that geothermal energy provides the UK. For several decades there has been a growing and meaningful contribution to our understanding of geothermal potential in the UK, yet we remain in the nascent stages of development with pockets of knowledge and expertise.

“The Centre will embrace and build on this, working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure a common understanding of the opportunities and challenges whilst giving a consistent voice and advocacy to fully unlock the geothermal potential in the UK and play a crucial part in the delivery of our net zero ambitions.

“I am honoured to serve as Chair of the National Centre and looking forward to working with the board, the executive, and our stakeholder community in the realisation of our collective vision.”

Rebecca Allison, chief operations officer at the Net Zero Technology Cenre, said: “As NZTC continues to accelerate the development and deployment of key transitioning technologies, we are fully embracing the opportunities that come with the geothermal sector. We look forward to supporting the NGC, helping it drive change and form a significant contribution to an integrated energy future.”


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