According to new reports, the Irish geothermal power developer GT Energy has announced that it will be teaming up with E.ON to launch a new 140 million-pound expansion across the UK. Apparently, the two companies will build five 7-megawatt plants. The main goal of these plants will be to provide heat to homes and businesses. This announcement was made by the managing director of GT Energy, Padraig Hanly.
Apparently, Hanly said that the first of these plants will be built in northwest England. If all goes according to plan, the plant is expected to be up and running by 2014. At this point in time, it is not known when the other four plants will be operational.
This new partnership has a lot of experts asking the question: Why now? Why are these two companies just now teaming up to launch this expansion? According to GT Energy, they are trying to tap into the growing demand for clean energy. Of course, it is also worth noting that this announcement comes just as the government has been trying to promote heat and power generation that curbs emissions while reducing the country’s reliance on things like fossil fuels. It is possible that these two companies are going to receive a good amount of government support for this project.
As many people more than likely remember, last year the UK opened a 860 million-pound Renewable Heat Incentive program. This new program helped to subsidize the output from sources such as geothermal and solar thermal generators and biomass boilers. If GT Energy and E.ON are receiving any kid of support, it is more than likely from the Renewable Heat Incentive program.
It has been made very clear that the UK’s target is to generate at least 15 percent of its energy and 12 percent of its heat from renewable sources by the time 2020 rolls around. As most people already know, heating and hot water actually account for about 47 percent of the UK’s energy demand. Not only that, but it also accounts for about 46 percent of carbon dioxide output. Thus, the geothermal projects can not only cut the demand for energy, but can also help cut emissions by using energy from things like underground hot springs. The energy produced from these hot springs and underground streams is just being wasted. It would be great if the UK was able to use this power to cut emissions.