Pioneer of deep geothermal energy Roy Baria has been awarded this year’s ‘Patricius Medal’ at the European Geothermal Congress in Berlin. The award recognises Roy’s “extraordinary achievements in the field of deep geothermal energy worldwide” during a career spanning more than 40 years and several continents.
Roy joined Camborne School of Mines’ ‘Hot Rocks’ project on secondment from the British Geological Survey (BGS) in 1980, serving initially as head of geophysics and then as deputy project director. In 1990 he was seconded to the first major European deep geothermal project in Soultz-sous-Forêts (France) as chief scientist and director. It was the groundbreaking research undertaken at Soultz that led to the development of the first commercial deep geothermal systems in Europe. Roy has worked as a deep geothermal advisor and consultant to organisations and governments across the globe, has published over 70 scientific papers and organised a number of conferences. He has served as the UK representative on Enhanced Geothermal Systems on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Now Technical Director of EGS Energy, one of the partners on the Eden Geothermal Project, Roy said of the award: “I’m honoured to receive the Patricius Medal, and am especially delighted that it’s being awarded now. Having worked to establish deep geothermal energy over four decades, since the technology was at an R&D stage, it’s gratifying to see it now being recognised and established as a viable renewable energy technology to help us tackle the climate and energy security emergencies. There can be no better reward for my efforts.”
Gus Grand, CEO of Eden Geothermal Limited, added: “Roy has been an innovator and tireless advocate of deep geothermal, whose passion and energy have helped take the technology from R&D into commercial reality. He thoroughly deserves this award.”
This isn’t the first time Roy’s achievements have been recognised. In 2018 he received a Special Achievement Award from the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) in the USA, in acknowledgment of his contribution the global deep geothermal sector.