The UK government has opened a £6 million fund to encourage the development of geothermal energy. The money will help companies carry out the exploratory work needed to find viable sites for this technology.
At present there is only one geothermal energy station in the UK, the Southampton District Energy Scheme, which uses hot water pumped from 1,800 metres below ground as part of the city’s district heating network. The station has operated successfully for over 20 years, saving an estimated 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Projects in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible to bid to the money. Project bids will be assessed and managed by panel established by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The closing date for bids for the first round of the fund is 20 November 2009.
The Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund: http://www.decc.gov.uk/deepgeothermal