New developments in geoscience and technology mean geothermal energy is no longer limited to volcanic areas of the world, but has real potential for heating buildings here in Ireland, according to two new reports from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and Geological Survey Ireland (GSI).
Geothermal energy can help decarbonise our heat sector, which represents over one third of Ireland’s energy consumption. Along with individual home and commercial geothermal systems, geothermal district heating networks can be used to heat and cool residential, industrial and municipal buildings.
The Assessment of geothermal Resources for District heating in Ireland and the Roadmap for a Policy and Regulatory framework for Geothermal Energy in Ireland have been developed to support the Government’s commitments under the Climate Action Plan 2019 and the Programme for Government and were published at the Geoscience 2020 conference today.
The Assessment of Geothermal Resources summarises recent technological developments, including improved understanding of our Earth systems, which have facilitated the growth of the geothermal energy sector globally.
Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications welcomed the publications and commented: “It is great to see these new developments in geothermal energy that can help decarbonise our heat sector. We are already seeing exciting projects like the ESB head office and the Lahinch Leisure Centre leading the way. We can learn from our European colleagues, and with expertise from the Geological Survey Ireland and their partners, can develop these exciting opportunities that can complement other renewable technologies such as wind and solar. Development of geothermal energy, including the research and policy supporting it, will be a priority for my department in the coming years.”
The Roadmap for a Policy and Regulatory Framework sets out the next steps required to develop geothermal energy in Ireland and invites those with an interest in this area to get in touch. Anybody who wants to become involved in this process may make contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing, by post to Geoscience Policy Division, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Adelaide Road, Dublin, D02 X285.
The theme of the Geoscience 2020 Conference is ‘Geoscience for Policy’ and the conference takes place online on the mornings of Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November. In addition to Geothermal Energy, other areas featured are Groundwater Resources, Offshore Renewable Energy, Raw Materials and Soils. In each case the links between geoscience, Geological Survey Ireland programmes and policy are explored with international examples and case studies.