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Durham University

Research & business

Putting clean growth on the map

(17 December 2018)

Image credit: Harold Pattison

The Durham Energy Institute’s (DEI) work on geothermal energy has featured on an interactive map showcasing innovation across small businesses and organisations in the UK.

The map, produced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, gives a snapshot of activity relating to the UK government’s Industrial Strategy.

The Industrial Strategy is a long-term plan to boost productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

Geothermal potential

The World Energy Council predicts that over 8% of global electricity demand could be produced from geothermal sources. There has been less focus on the direct heating potential of geothermal.

Heat accounts for half the UK's energy demand and Durham University research estimates the UK's range of geothermal resources could supply heat to the UK for over a century.

One opportunity investigated by DEI is the potential to use heat from water in flooded abandoned mines in County Durham and across the UK.

DEI has calculated that around 25% of homes overlie flooded coal mines from which their heating demand could be met.

DEI has also worked on geothermal potential from ageing and abandoned oilfields, cave (karst) systems, deep sedimentary basins and naturally fractured granites, in the UK and with international partners in areas such as Tanzania and Kashmir.

Internationally renowned

Founded in 2009, DEI draws on the expertise of our academics in science, social science and humanities to develop new energy technologies and solutions that benefit society.

DEI’s research supports the UK’s cleaner economic growth through low carbon technologies that are better for the environment and cost less than high carbon alternatives.

The Institute is internationally renowned with expertise in renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and geo-energy.

Energy challenges are addressed through research by working with industry, international partners, governments and society.

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