An Assessment of Geothermal Energy for District Heating in Ireland
Recent technological developments, and an improved understanding of our Earth systems, has facilitated the growth of the geothermal energy sector globally. Given these improved efficiencies and our growing knowledge, this renewable energy resource is no longer limited to volcanic areas of the world but is now feasible in Ireland. In particular, geothermal energy can help decarbonise our heat sector - this currently 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.
GSI has now published An Assessment of Geothermal Energy for District Heating in Ireland. This document will support complementary work from colleagues in the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) who have simultaneously published Geothermal Energy in Ireland; a roadmap for a policy and regulatory framework. These documents together will support the Government's commitments under the Climate Action Plan 2019 and the Programme for Government to decarbonise our energy sector.
We have been working with national and international colleagues and can see the positive impact geothermal energy can have. This is a renewable, clean, natural, local resource that does not rely on an external supply chain. Apart from this security of supply, geothermal energy is not affected by weather or hours of daylight and so provides a consistent heat source.
Geological Survey Ireland will continue to develop its national geothermal programme and provide scientific advice and expertise in this area to support new policies and regulations developed by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and to projects designed to test and develop the applicability of this technology in Ireland.
Other elevant publications:
- B. Mather, T. Farrell, J.Fullea, Probabilistic Surface Heat Flow Estimates Assimilating Paleoclimate History: New Implications for the Thermochemical Structure of Ireland Article, 2018 Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123(12):10,951 - 10,967. DOI: 10.1029/2018JB016555
- Mather, B. and Fullea, J.: Constraining the geotherm beneath the British Isles from Bayesian inversion of Curie depth: integrated modelling of magnetic, geothermal, and seismic data, Solid Earth, 10, 839–850, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-839-2019 , 2019