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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Clean growth and innovation: Geothermal Energy for the UK

The UK's geothermal resources are significant and could supply heat to the UK for over a century. Durham University leads research into the potential for geothermal energy in the UK and beyond.

“A source of clean, renewable energy under our feet is a very exciting prospect, and it’s all right here in the former coal mines beneath Spennymoor. The research carried out by Durham Energy Institute is very important in helping us better understand this resource, and the ways we can best make use of it for a greener, more prosperous County Durham. This research was a key source for me when I led a parliamentary debate on Geothermal Energy, and I’m proud to work alongside the Institute promoting the benefits of this untapped energy source.”

Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland

Abandoned mines across the UK are flooded with water that can be used to heat homes. In addition to providing low carbon, secure energy this can bring economic and social improvements to regions that suffered following the abandonment of deep mining in the UK.

Over half of UK energy demand is used to produce heat. Most of this is produced using gas. We currently import more than half of the gas we use. This raises concerns about climate change and future energy security. We need to find alternative sources of low carbon heat.

We are working with local authorities, local communities, Parliament, the Coal Authority and industry to explore options for geothermal energy in the North East of England. Most recently Helen Goodman MP led a debate in Parliament about the UK Geothermal resource and the need for Government to explore this as a viable low carbon option. Research by Dr Charlotte Adams, Professor Jon Gluyas and the Durham Energy Institute was directly referred to in the debate.

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