Evidence report supporting the deep geothermal energy white paper : the case for deep geothermal energy - unlocking investment at scale in the UK

Abesser, C.; Gonzalez Quiros, A.; Boddy, J.. 2023 Evidence report supporting the deep geothermal energy white paper : the case for deep geothermal energy - unlocking investment at scale in the UK. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 134pp. (OR/23/032) (Unpublished)

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Under the amended UK Climate Change Act, a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases of at least 80% from 1990 levels is necessary to reach net-zero targets by 2050. The sixth carbon budget for the period 2033–2037 requires a reduction of at least 63% from 1990 levels. While the UK has made good progress in decarbonising electricity, the decarbonisation of heating and cooling remains a challenge. Buildings, for example, were the UK’s second largest source of emissions in 2021 (after surface transport), producing 20% of all UK emissions. Geothermal energy, the energy generated and stored in the form of heat in rocks, groundwater and soils, can provide a low-carbon source for heating, cooling and power generation. Deep geothermal resources, typically at depths of more than 500 m below the ground surface and temperatures between 50 and 200°C, are suitable for multiple uses, including direct use for space heating, cooling (using absorption chiller technology), horticulture, a variety of industrial processes or power generation. A ‘UK Deep Geothermal Energy White Paper’ was commissioned by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub in 2022. It aims to provide an evidence-based assessment and ‘case making’ document to help accelerate the development and deployment of deep geothermal energy projects in the UK. This report provides the underpinning evidence, background and data for the white paper. It describes stakeholder input which was collected through a range of engagement events, including a review of existing stakeholder evidence (including 31 submissions to a parliamentary inquiry on geothermal technology undertaken by the Environmental Audit Committee in 2022), a virtual stakeholder workshop (34 participants), an online stakeholder survey (59 respondents) and stakeholder interviews (7). Stakeholders that have participated in the engagement for this report include representatives from the geothermal industry (developers, consultants, drillers, service providers), regulators, the finance sector and academia.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey, North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub, Arup
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed. The accompanying white paper can be found at:
Date made live: 10 Aug 2023 10:20 +0 (UTC)

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