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The Northern Ireland Geothermal Advisory Committee commissioned a report recently, by researchers from Queen’s University Belfast. It outlines how geothermal energy can assist the country in its transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The report focuses on the way forward and on the confidence-building actions needed to facilitate opportunities for energy from geothermal heating and cooling.
Professor Palmer from Queen’s Management School commented: “Despite over forty years of geological evidence gathering, which confirms that Northern Ireland has favourable geological conditions for geothermal activity, the findings of our report show an absence of awareness and visibility of the geothermal project activity on the ground. There is a real positive opportunity for portfolio-driven energy market-making here.”
PhD student at Queen’s and co-author of the report, Joseph Ireland says: “Geothermal technology is underdeveloped in Northern Ireland but it could be the invisible secret to unlocking the energy sources we need to help meet net zero targets by 2050. This report and its recommended actions highlight ways to build sector confidence, create awareness and establish the link between the potential of geothermal energy and how projects could work on the ground.”
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “Geothermal is very much the ‘Cinderella’ of renewable technologies and I am pleased that my Department’s Geological Survey of Northern Ireland has been working closely with Queen’s School of Management to inform a roadmap, ‘Building the Geothermal Energy Sector in Northern Ireland’ to raise the profile of geothermal as a low carbon, renewable technology.
“My Department’s Energy Strategy, The Path to Net Zero Energy, recognises that there is no single technological solution to decarbonising our energy mix. Also that, with its proven history globally, geothermal heating and cooling has a role to play in achieving our vision of net zero carbon and affordable energy.
“We are already leading in the technology around wind, and we will reinforce this with other technologies such as green hydrogen – so not only will we be self-sufficient, but we will be able to export these zero-carbon technologies, created and manufactured locally. “
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