Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund

The 2009 Renewable Energy Strategy announced that the Government would allocate £6m to the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund, broken into two rounds of £4 million and £2 million.

The £4m first round focussed on power projects - £3.5m was divided between the two large Cornwall-based projects to purchase capital equipment to use when drilling begins. The other £0.5 million went to a heat-only project in Eastgate, County Durham which was technically highly successful and awaits commercial exploitation.

The second round (reduced to £1.1 million) was focussed on heat-only projects

The winning projects were:

  • Newcastle and Keele University (new boreholes),
  • and Southampton (re-pumping the existing deep geothermal system).

The Newcastle scheme broke ground in February 2011, attracting extensive positive media attention.

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