U.K. Begins Geothermal Effort

REDRUTH, England, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Britain could soon have its first operating commercial geothermal plant after exploratory drilling was authorized in Cornwall, officials said.

Engineers will begin drilling a 2.8-mile-deep borehole early next year at a site near Redruth, England, The Guardian reported this week.

It is the first project in an emerging geothermal power sector in the United Kingdom, where the government hopes the technology could provide between 1 and 5 gigawatts of renewable electricity by 2030, the British newspaper said.

Geothermal energy involves pumping water up to 3 miles underground where it is heated by naturally occurring hot rocks before being pumped back up to the surface to either be converted into electricity or used as a source of renewable heat.

Unlike wind power, geothermal can operate steadily 24 hours a day.

Cornwall is expected to prove the best site for geothermal power, as research in the 1970s and ’80s found significant opportunities within the county’s granite bedrock, The Guardian said.

If successful in its exploratory drilling, the Redruth project would produce 10 megawatts of electricity and 55 megawatts of renewable heat for the local community.

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Categorized | Electricity, Geothermal, Other
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