GT Energy, the leading Irish specialist in the harnessing of deep geothermal energy, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EON UK, one of the UK’s leading power and gas companies and a subsidiary of E.ON, the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas company. The agreement is a significant milestone in realising GT Energy’s ambition to become the primary provider of renewable heat in the UK by securing a development pipeline of 500MW.
Under the terms of the partnership, GT Energy and E.ON will collaborate to develop five new deep-geothermal heat and distribution systems in the UK, the first of which will commence in the North West of England later this year.
Padraig Hanly, managing director of GT Energy, says the agreement with E.ON marks a shift in focus away from Ireland and towards the UK, largely due to the lack of action on part of the Irish Government in progressing the appropriate geothermal legislation and putting in place the relevant supports for geothermal energy and renewable heat.
“Britain and Ireland both share the same ultimate goal: a safe future where our energy needs can be met in a clean, affordable and responsible manner. However, in stark contrast to Ireland, central government backing in the UK through a Renewable Heat Incentive programme is already making a huge difference to a fledgling industry, which we intend to be at the forefront of,” he comments.
Geothermal energy harnesses the heat that occurs naturally a few kilometres underground, providing a reliable source of clean energy for homes and businesses. Geothermal plants are uniquely suited to an urban setting, where energy demand is at its densest. Heating and hot water accounts for 47 per cent of the UK’s current energy consumption. Almost 80 per cent of the population live in urban areas, making geothermal energy ideally placed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependency on imported oil, and cut the cost of heating homes.
He continues: “Recent scientific studies suggest that the UK is sitting on vast amounts of geothermal potential and our immediate goal is to secure a project pipeline of 500MW. In addition to the five projects we’ll be announcing in collaboration with E.ON, we will continue to advance other projects including our projects in Northern Ireland, which will benefit from the Northern Ireland RHI expected later this year.”
Established in 2007, GT Energy was the first company in Ireland to initiate private exploration into geothermal resources having drilled test wells to a depth of 1,400 metres in Newcastle, County Dublin. Since then, the company has worked on developing a number of geothermal energy projects in the UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland, including the Dublin area.