“Heat from the earth does not receive the attention it deserves,” said Nick Jenkins, engineering professor at Cardiff University. If Britain is to meet its targets for cutting fossil fuel consumption, it would have to exploit ground heat as well as other renewable sources such as wind, he said.

He was chairing a seminar held at the Royal Academy of Engineering called seminar ‘The heat beneath your feet’ to examine how geothermal technologies can contribute to a low carbon future for the UK. Speakers considered the history of geothermal innovations, the different types of technology available to extract energy from the ground and who would benefit most.

Amongst other issues speakers discussed the growing popularity of ground source heating schemes. David Banks, a consultant geologist, spoke of the ‘vast resource of untapped energy’ in the ground beneath the UK and described how ground source heat systems can not only provide heating, but cooling for buildings such as school, offices and hospitals.

This meeting will contribute to the wider energy policy work of the Academy, including a project on potential energy scenarios for the UK, looking at how the UK will achieve its carbon targets. The findings will also feed into policy work around heat, a priority for the Department on Energy and Climate Change.

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Iffat Memon at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. Direct tel +44 (0) 20 7766 0653