Eden Geothermal welcomes government white paper, but feels more needs to be done

Government white paper recommends measures to accelerate geothermal development across the UK

Over 100 NHS hospitals could be heated using deep geothermal technology

Eden Geothermal Ltd, home of the UK’s first operational deep geothermal well in 37 years, has commented on the government white paper released today: ‘The case for deep geothermal energy – unlocking investment at scale in the UK’.

The Cornwall geothermal site celebrates the direction, but feels more needs to be done sooner.

Gus Grand, CEO of Eden Geothermal Ltd, said: “We’re pleased the government is getting behind geothermal. Heat in the UK accounts for 37% of emissions, and direct geothermal can make a huge dent in that, all the while supporting the national grid. Geothermal has a minute surface footprint and can be installed in urban areas.

“We are already seeing enormous interest in the potential of the technology from many sectors: food and drink manufacturers, NHS, universities, schools, hotels.

“The recommendations in the paper include short term measures that could help the industry right now: with small adjustments to existing grants and budgets, so that geothermal is specifically eligible. If the government could bring forward those measures at speed, we could really get dancing the fandango. The climate won’t wait for the election.’’

The white paper was commissioned by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub, and delivered by the British Geological Survey and Arup.

It outlines how deep geothermal energy – energy from the ground beneath our feet – can provide low-carbon heating, cooling and power generation; supporting the UK’s net zero targets.  Investment in geothermal energy could deliver an economic lift to areas across the UK by creating jobs and tackling fuel poverty.

The UK is in 29th place in Europe for geothermal installations. The white paper looks at the current use of deep geothermal energy in countries that share the UK’s geology, including France, Germany and the Netherlands – there the technology is well developed, supports thousands of jobs and produces many GWh of renewable heat and electricity.

The white paper examines the resources in the UK; and the opportunities and benefits for the economy, local communities, and government’s Net Zero commitments and energy security ambitions. Over one hundred NHS hospitals lie over geothermal resources, and with large heat loads all year round, are well placed to use the technology.

Recommendations are included to build the sector over the short, medium, and long term. They include reviewing financial support for geothermal energy projects; signposting geothermal in UK Net Zero efforts; reviewing the legal status, regulation and licencing of geothermal energy; improving data availability and accessibility and understanding public perception of geothermal energy.


17 July 2023


For more information or to request interviews, contact:

Becky Bennett
Media Relations Manager
07738 764054

Gus Grand
07989 406560

Notes for Editors

Eden Geothermal Limited (EGL), is a three-way partnership between Eden Project Limited, EGS Energy Limited, a geothermal development and consultancy group, and BESTEC (UK) Limited, affiliated with BESTEC GmbH, specialist geothermal developer and drilling advisor. www.edengeothermal.com

It has just completed the UK’s first deep geothermal installation in nearly 40 years at the Eden Project in Cornwall, to heat the Biomes, offices and a new especially constructed plant nursery.

To fund the industrial research project, EGL secured £24 million funding from a combination of European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and commercial funding from GCP Infrastructure Investments Limited, an investment trust advised by Gravis Capital Management Ltd. 

In the last 10 years, the installed capacity in Germany doubled from 200 MW in 2012 to 400 MW today. This is expected to approach 850 MW by 2030 with an investment of USD 1.5 billion. Since 2000, the geothermal industry in Germany has generated 16.7 billion and created 35,900 jobs. The Netherlandshad 31 operational deep doublets at the start of 2022 (saving 342,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to using gas) and a further 19 projects in development. It has recently announced €2Billion in support for geothermal heat.

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