The U.S. is not the only country heavily investing in geothermal energy — the United Kingdom is also looking for alternative methods to generate electricity and heat homes, and engineers believe they have found a solution in the north-east of the country. Specifically, underneath the city of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. A joint team from Newcastle and Durham Universities plans to search for potential geothermal reservoirs by drilling a hole 2,000m (6,562 feet) below the planned Science Central site, which is in the heart of the city.

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The team hopes that the £900,000 project could provide the region with 5MW of thermal energy by pumping out water at a temperature of about 80C (176F). This water would then be used to heat surrounding buildings. Speaking to the BBC, Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability director Professor Paul Younger said: “Our aim is to rise to the challenge of putting a novel form of deep geothermal energy at the very heart of city centre regeneration. The team are expected to bore their hole straight through the city’s old mining tunnels.

“It’s an incredibly exciting project. If we’re right and we pump up water at such elevated temperatures, it would mean a fully renewable energy supply for a large part of the city centre.”

The project was funded with £400,000 from the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund, with another £500,000 coming from the university and Newcastle City Council.

+ Department of Energy and Climate Change

Via BBC News

Lead image © ahisgett