Thursday, 16 September 2010

DECC digs out £1m for hot ROCs

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is putting £1m behind the
search for suitable geothermal sites in the UK.

The Deep Geothermal Energy Fund will be open to applications until 29
October and is intended to help companies carry out exploratory work. Energy
providers are already active in this field in the south west of England.

This is the second round of the Challenge Fund: £4m was made available in
the first, which was fully allocated and spent. Geothermal Engineering - one
of the bidders from round one - recently obtained planning permission for a
project in Redruth, Cornwall.

"Geothermal power from the South West alone could provide up to two per cent
of the UK's electricity needs," said DECC secretary of state Chris Huhne.
"Offering this funding will give UK-based innovators a chance to get their
projects off the ground and into our energy mix".

But the Renewable Energy Association (REA) is far from pleased with the
announcement, saying it effectively halves funding previously promised.

"The Government's enthusiasm is welcome, but this is actually a cut, as the
original fund was £2m," said Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the REA.

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