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As part of plans to increase operations in the UK and benefit from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) programme, Ireland’s GT Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with E.ON UK, one the largest power and gas companies in the kingdom to develop five new deep-geothermal projects.
Padraig Hanly, the managing director of GT Energy, said that “government backing in the UK is already making a huge difference to a fledgling industry. The UK’s Renewable Heat Incentive is a welcome and positive step.” Taking advantage of the RHI programme will help the Irish company achieve its goal to become “the UK’s primary provider” of renewable heat energy.
According to a study by Sinclair Knight Merz, a global consultancy firm, the UK has 100GW of geothermal potential, and as much as four percent of that could be developed by 2030. GT Energy said that “the resulting 4GW capacity would be equivalent to 25 per cent of the UK’s 2020 target for renewable energy generation,” and that “unlike wind, solar and wave power, deep geothermal plants produce energy smoothly and reliably, around the clock, regardless of the weather;” making it more useful to energy grid controllers.
Geothermal plants are one of the few renewable energy sources which can be successfully installed in urban settings. They need very little ground space, often just an acre will do, because the energy is collected in boreholes that are drilled a couple of kilometres vertically down into the earth.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com