Shallow Geothermal Energy

Shallow Geothermal Energy

Ground source heat pumps are more efficient than air source heat pumps during low temperature periods, which is when heating is most needed. They are also more efficient during hot weather for cooling.  Part of the successful installation of a ground source heat/cooling system is knowledge of the subsurface, and how much heat it can deliver.


To assist the uptake of ground source heat, and help to ensure successful ground source installations, the GSI produced:

  • A Homeowner's Guide to Ground Source Heat / Shallow Geothermal Energy​ (download publication)
  • National shallow geothermal energy suitability maps (see online viewer)

The project also developed a voluntary database of ground source heat installations, and draft best practice guidelines for ground source heat installations.

The guidelines, maps and database have been developed to meet some of the shortcomings in the ground source sector: 

a) limited national, geological information relating to geothermal energy,

b) no legislation for the installation of shallow systems, and 

c) no best practice guidelines for installation/use, for either industry/providers, or potential end users.

The project team included SLR Consulting, Arup, GeoServ and Conodate. We collaborated with government departments and agencies such as SEAI, EMD, EPA, geothermal and other industry organisations (e.g. Geothermal Association of Ireland, Heat Pump Association of Ireland), local authorities, academic institutes and consultants (e.g. drilling, hydrogeological, architects) as required, to gather all available, relevant information (including regulatory) in order to develop the themes within this project.

If you are interested in shallow geothermal energy and have a query or wish to receive more information, or if you can contribute data on installations that you have developed or have been involved with, please get in touch with the project team at

For more information on the Shallow Geothermal Energy Resource Project:

Presentations and documentation from the Workshop