Geothermal project achieves breakthrough

24 Jun 2010
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UK map A geothermal energy project in Britain has seen water at a temperature of 40 degrees C be successfully pumped above the ground.

Scientists at Newcastle University are looking to harness the heat of underground rocks in Upper Weardale, County Durham as a possible source of energy.

This week, they were able to pump hot water up from a depth of 1,000 metres, which then went through a heat exchanger before being diverted back underground through a second borehole.

Professor Paul Younger, one of the scientists working on the project, confirmed that the research team now plans to drill for water even deeper beneath the surface.

Speaking to the Financial Times, he said that if water can be found at a temperature of 100 degrees C, they will be able to use it to generate electricity.

"It's as clean as you can get, extremely low carbon and on all the time," Professor Younger commented.

This, he said, sets it apart from many other forms of renewable energy, as it is not intermittent.

Durham County Council confirmed it is monitoring the progress of the researchers, as it believes their findings are of real interest.
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