Thursday, September 22, 2011

Engineered Geothermal System Energy - In the UK and a global perspective

In the coming days, geothermal experts from all over the world are gathering to take part in the Geothermal Symposium organised by UK developer EGS Energy. The focus is going to be on the development of engineered geothermal systems (EGS) and how it can take the sector forward in to a different league.

Over 100 participants from public organisations, Government, investors and academics are expected to meet on Tuesday 27th September in London, UK in order to discuss prospects for near future. Agenda is to provide them with an update on the progress of the geothermal industry. The content of the Symposium is divided into two main parts. The first one is dedicated to the development of EGS worldwide. The organisers managed to attract important contributors who will share their opinions and experience in the frame of EGS field. Among others, representatives of International Energy Agency (IEA), U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), stakeholders from Australia, South Korea, France and Germany will be present. The main idea is that many countries outside of the ‘ring of fire’ in the future will be able to source renewable energy from below their feet.

The second part will be related with the development of EGS in the host country – UK. Speakers are expected to present geothermal project in Cornwall, North-Eastern England projects and geothermal resources in Scotland. The UK’s geothermal resources are substantial, with Cornwall having some of Europe’s highest heatflows.  Elsewhere in the country, there are plenty of areas that exhibit the right qualities to make the use of geothermal energy quite possible but further research needs to be done to specify the optimum spots. 

There is an impressive array of projects under way: from consented developments in Cornwall to the recent announcement by the Scottish Government of funding for research there; from plans for use of geothermal in horticulture in the Isle of Wight to drilling under way in Newcastle. It is important to note that the technology is already in use elsewhere in Europe and now is the opportunity for experienced teams to assist in taking forward the sector in the UK. The likely focus of attention of the Symposium will be the issues of scaling up, sustainability and industrial partnerships.

Power from geothermal sources is large scale, despatchable, emissions free and with a small footprint on the surface. Events such as this move this renewable energy sector forward, so that it may become more and more confident in its ability to offer part of the solution to the rising demand for energy from renewable sources.

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