Partnership deal targets geothermal energy development
A partnership agreement to develop five deep-geothermal heat and distribution systems has been signed by GT Energy and E.ON UK, with the first project starting later this year.
GT Energy, a geothermal energy production business, and the power and gas company, E.ON UK, have reached a Memorandum of Understanding covering a total of five joint projects, the first of which will be located in the North West of England.
The new partners say the agreement reflects a shift in geothermal focus for UK operations, stimulated by the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) programme.
GT Energy, founded in Ireland, has undertaken a number of early projects in the country, including securing planning permission for Ireland's first geothermal electricity generation plant.
"Central government backing in the UK is already making a huge difference to a fledgling industry," said GT Energy managing director, Padraig Hanly, adding that RHI was a 'welcome and positive step towards a better future'.
E.ON's Sustainable Energy business managing director, Michael Woodhead, said working with GT Energy would help the two businesses reduce carbon emissions and help cut customers' bills.
"This scheme is just one of a number that we are delivering across the UK as part of our commitment to change the way energy is created and used," he added.
Current studies suggest the UK is sitting on 100 gigawatts of geothermal potential, up to 4% of which could be readily accessed by 2030. The resulting 4GW capacity, if achieved, would be equivalent to 25% of the UK's 2020 target for renewable energy generation.