The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) have announced €1million in government funding towards innovative research projects targeting geothermal energy. The three projects were awarded funding under the 2019 SEAI National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Funding Program, with strategic co-funding support from GSI.
Courtesy of NREL
Geothermal energy refers to the heat energy generated and stored in the earth. Geothermal energy can be harnessed from both shallow and deep drilling. This energy can be used for heating our homes and heating water and, if the source is hot enough, electricity generation. Geothermal is a proven technology across Europe and has the potential to de-carbonize energy in Ireland and reduce our reliance on imported energy sources.
Discussing the funding program, Dr. Phil Hemmingway, head of SEAI’s Research & Technology Department, said, “The All of Government Climate Action Plan commits Ireland to significant targets and ambitions in the energy sector. Disruptive innovation will be a critical enabler for meeting these targets and for achieving Ireland’s decarbonization goals. Ireland’s energy system will undergo a rapid, continual and significant evolution during the period to 2030 and beyond. Projects such as these are at the forefront of knowledge development.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Koen Verbruggen, director of GSI said, “Collaborating with SEAI has allowed us to substantially increase support and develop our capabilities in the geothermal energy sector in Ireland. We look forward to working with the researchers and implementing the scientific and technological outputs but also using these results to inform policy in this area.”
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies was awarded funding for the DIG project (De-risking Ireland’s Geothermal energy potential). It aims to reduce risk in harnessing Ireland´s geothermal energy potential using a multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach. It will improve the estimation of deep geothermal resources in Ireland, building on existing datasets and geothermal modelling knowledge.
Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Ltd has been awarded funding for a project titled ThermoWell. It will apply novel drilling and exploration techniques for deep geothermal resources and aims to demonstrate the economically advantageous use of Deep Standing Column Wells as a renewable heat resource.
Terra GeoServ Ltd has been awarded funding for their research project ShallowTHERM. This project will test a methodology to estimate the underground heat-exchange potential for shallow geothermal installations, in particular, vertical closed loop collectors.