A Review of Deep Geothermal Energy and Future Opportunities in the UK

Watson, S. M., Westaway, R. and Falcone, G. (2019) A Review of Deep Geothermal Energy and Future Opportunities in the UK. In: European Geothermal Congress 2019, The Hague, The Netherlands, 11-14 Jun 2019,

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Publisher's URL: http://europeangeothermalcongress.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/158.pdf


The UK’s geothermal heat resource is significant with areas of potential geothermal resource matching areas of high heat demand in many areas of the UK. It would be technically feasible, therefore, to utilise low enthalpy geothermal heat for space heating through the use of district heating systems. The consequences of developing a substantial part of the UK’s geothermal resource are considerable. The opportunity to supply baseload heating from low enthalpy geothermal energy would dramatically reduce the UK’s emissions of greenhouses gases, reduce the need for separate energy storage required by intermittent renewable technologies such as wind and solar, and lessen the dependence on imported oil and gas, contributing to increasing the UK’s energy security for the foreseeable future. One potential catalyst for developing low enthalpy geothermal energy in the UK is the opportunity torepurpose abandoned hydrocarbon wells, for geothermal heat production and seasonal heat storage. DGSW technologies may have a role to play in fulfilling this opportunity.The idea of Deep Geothermal Single Well (DGSW) heat production has existed for many years.However, there arerelativelyfew studiesofits technical and economic feasibility available in the public domain and only one field trialhas beencarried out so far, in an existing well. This has created uncertainty, with advocates of the technology suggesting thermal outputs that appear exaggerated, and detractors claiming that the concept can never be economic unless the capital cost of drilling has already been reduced. However, because this technology offers the potential of delivering geothermal heat projects with a minimum of site-dependent research, the possibility exists of achieving cost-effective solutions.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Falcone, Professor Gioia and Westaway, Dr Robert and Watson, Mr Sean
Authors: Watson, S. M., Westaway, R., and Falcone, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment

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