Nearly £3.5m to be invested in geothermal energy in Cornwall

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By Stephen_Blake | Sunday, January 17, 2010, 14:41

Two companies researching geothermal renewable energy technology in Cornwall are to benefit from nearly £3.5m of government investment.

Cornwall Council is supporting both pioneering projects which hope to provide geothermal energy from beneath the earth's surface.

Cornwall is considered by experts to be a prime spot in the UK for geothermal energy plants.

EGS Energy Ltd, based in Penzance, is to get £2.011m to purchase capital items associated with their proposed exploratory borehole at the Eden Centre.

Geothermal Engineering Ltd will receive £1.475m for capital items associated with their proposed exploratory borehole at Redruth.

Carolyn Rule, council cabinet member for the economy and regeneration, said of the grants: "This is fantastic news for two companies at the forefront of the green energy revolution that is under way in Cornwall.

"We are firmly committed to a low carbon Cornwall and to making the most of the economic opportunities that this low carbon future presents."

Both projects are subject to planning approval and Cornwall Council's natural resources team is currently working on pre-planning applications with the applicants.

The government grants, from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), have been welcomed by the firms involved.

Ryan Law from Geothermal Engineering said: "We are delighted to receive this initial funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It is an important step towards reviving the deep geothermal industry in Cornwall.

“However, if the government is to meet its 2020 obligations it must be more ambitious in funding renewable energy projects of this nature.

"We therefore hope that DECC will continue to work with us in turning the planned £40m project into a reality."

Roy Baria, technical director of EGS Energy Ltd, said: "Having worked on the state funded project in Cornwall at Rosemanowes over twenty years ago, I welcome the support that the government is giving now to this exploration.

"The skills first developed in Cornwall those many years ago will now be put to good use in developing the geothermal potential of Cornish granite."

Guy Macpherson-Grant, managing director of EGS Energy Ltd, added: "This is a very positive step forward for EGS Energy. We are pleased to have received such a substantial and practical vote of confidence from DECC with this award.

"We will be working hard in the coming months to repay that confidence in us, by taking forward with all speed the drilling programme and associated works, planning and environmental consents permitting."

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