London, UK — The exploitation of heat from deep geothermal sources, at depths of between 500 and 5,000 meters below the surface, has the potential to grow significantly in the immediate future. This was the message coming out of a Golder Associates seminar.
Drilling down into rocks thousands of meters beneath the surface allows the energy contained in hot rocks to be harnessed. At lower temperatures the energy can be used to heat and cool communities and homes and where rocks are at high temperatures electricity can be generated and fed into the grid.
Golder Associates was closely involved in geological testing during the previous geothermal drilling work in Cornwall, UK, in the 1980s and has undertaken work on geothermal issues for the U.S. Department of Energy, the International Finance Corporation and European and North American power companies.
However, while the environmental and economic benefits of geothermal energy are widely recognized, many technological barriers remain, related to drilling of boreholes, stimulation and testing of geothermal reservoirs and the proving of commercial geothermal resources. To help promote deep geothermal energy projects across Europe and with a view particularly to the UK, Golder Associates held a seminar in London called Harnessing Deep Geothermal Energy on June 10.
The seminar brought together key industry players in the field of geothermal development, drilling, project funding, insurance and academic expertise, and allowed attendees to share experience and to develop a better understanding of the key technical and economic issues affecting these projects
“The seminar was an exciting step forward in bringing deep geothermal energy closer to being a significant part of the renewable energy portfolio in the UK and Europe and provided a fantastic opportunity to bring some of the key players involved in this nascent industry together,” said Gareth Digges La Touche, a senior geologist with a focus on geothermal energy projects in Golder Associates’ UK operation.