Cornwall's Geothermal resource
Although we are a long way from any volcanic areas Cornwall has another source of geothermal energy; its granite. It is heat-producing, which means that the rocks here are hotter than anywhere else in the UK, making this the best place to exploit geothermal energy for both heat and power.
The heat flow and geological maps show in red where the granite outcrops at surface. Elsewhere it is covered by other rocks but can still be reached by drilling.
The United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project will build on the experience and expertise developed during the Hot Dry Rock (HDR) project in the 1980s and more recent geothermal reconnaissance work that has identified the best location to test a new development concept.
Although the objectives of the two projects are different, the data and knowledge gained during the HDR project will be invaluable to the development at United Downs.
Geological map showing granite outcrops
Other Cornish Projects
Eden Geothermal Ltd has been set up by three partners: Eden Project, EGS Energy Ltd, and Bestec (UK) Ltd and has secured funding from the European Union, Cornwall Council and institutional investors. The industrial research project, with University of Exeter as research partner, will drill a 4.5km deep well at the Eden Project, and heat its famous Biomes, greenhouses and offices. The project is the first phase of a two well development. It will pave the way for the second phase: another 4.5km well and an electricity plant.