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Three pipes running towards Geothermal Plant

Durham is playing an intrinsic role in harnessing the UK’s potential for geothermal energy advancement, through the launch of a new, collaborative centre.

The National Geothermal Centre (NGC) will accelerate research and innovation for the geothermal sector by developing expertise, driving policy reform and promoting investment. It will also highlight new opportunities for transitioning sectors.

A collaboration for the future of geothermal

The centre is a collaboration between Durham University, Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), SHIFT Geothermal, with support from The Reece Foundation.

It will drive collaboration between government, industry, and academia, championing the integration of more geothermal heat and electricity into the renewable energy mix.

What is geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy is derived from the heat of the Earth itself, and is an inexhaustible, ultra-low carbon, secure energy source. It is proven and widely accessible across the UK with negligible environmental impact. Surface facilities are typically small and unobtrusive and the water circulated to extract heat is contained within a closed system.

Durham’s world-leading research in the areas of geothermal energy, led by Durham Energy Institute, is helping address what is now the most pressing area of energy innovation needed to meet net zero.

University student
Harnessing the UK's geothermal resource will help us meet international carbon reduction targets, as we strive to make secure energy supplies and deliver our own destiny as an energy-independent nation. Coupled with use of wind, solar, other renewable, sustainable energies as well as carbon capture and storage technologies, geothermal energy will enable the UK to once again become world renown in energy and this time in sustainable green energy.

Professor Jon Gluyas, Department of Earth Sciences
Ørsted/Ikon Chair in Geoenergy, Carbon Capture & Storage

The UK’s energy targets

The NGC will maximise the contribution of geothermal energy to the UK government’s Energy Security Plan and the low-carbon strategies of the national and regional government.

The geothermal sector has the potential to be a significant contributor to the UK’s energy targets and economy, supplying 10GW of heat demand and 1.5GW of electricity demand by 2050.

Geothermal expansion could create 50,000 jobs for the future and result in an annual avoidance of 10 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions.

The new centre is now actively seeking sector engagement to drive the advancement of geothermal projects across the UK. 

This project is supported by Durham University, Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), SHIFT Geothermal, and The Reece Foundation.

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