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18 May 2009 09:05:08

Conservative Party backs geothermal technology in the UK



Conservative Party backs geothermal technology in the UK
David Cameron has underlined the potential of deep geothermal technology to generate a significant proportion of the UK's future energy needs.

Pledging his party's support to the emerging industry, the leader of the Conservatives promised to create "generous incentives" to foster growth in the UK market.

He suggested that Britain is "well-placed" to benefit from deep geothermal technology - which has the potential to generate up to ten percent of the UK's electricity, according to a report by the Geothermal Research Programme (GRP).

Mr Cameron added that as well as increasing the UK's energy security, the virtually carbon-free solution would also create a number of new jobs in traditional mining areas such as Yorkshire and the north-east.

The Tory leader promised to give the deep geothermal technology industry "the shot in the arm it needs to get going" by making projects eligible for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to help them attract investment.

ROCs are issued to accredited renewable electricity generators as part of a scheme to encourage the UK's main energy suppliers to take more of their electricity from green sources.

Between 1976 and the early 1990s, the GRP conducted major research into the UK's potential resources for geothermal aquifers and hot dry rocks (HDRs).

According to parliamentary papers from last year, the UK's accessible HDR capacity regardless of cost was estimated by the GRP to be 1,500 TW hours of electricity.

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