Arup joins geothermal energy project consortium

17 January 2022 2 min. read
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Engineering consultancy Arup has joined a consortium of businesses, engineers and energy experts to explore and develop deep geothermal energy projects in Northern Ireland. The news comes after Arup announced plans to shift its client work toward decarbonisation.

Late in 2021, Arup ruled out taking further work from energy schemes involving fossil fuels. The global firm also pledged to undertake whole lifecycle carbon assessments for all its buildings projects, while aiming to achieve net zero across its own operations by 2030.

Now, Arup has joined Geothermal NI, a consortium aiming to will bring forward projects to provide 100% renewable energy to homes and businesses across Norther Ireland. Geothermal NI is also made up of MJM Group, Newry, Queen’s University Belfast and Geothermal Engineering.

Arup joins geothermal energy project consortium

Arup director Matthew Free commented, “At Arup, we’re helping our clients across the world to make the transition to decarbonised, secure and affordable energy. Geothermal has a further attraction, in that it is local. We are very pleased to be part of the team, with MJM Renewables, Geothermal Engineering Ltd and Queen’s University Belfast to make this happen in Northern Ireland.”

Geothermal energy utilises natural heat underneath the ground to heat fresh water and create steam which can then be used to produce green electricity. Deep geothermal provides a constant source of renewable energy, and is already used widely in countries like New Zealand, Iceland and Germany.

Northern Ireland’s natural geology is consistent with that needed to harness geothermal energy sources, and the country’s Department for the Economy has placed strong focus on its potential future role. Following this, Geothermal NI is scheduled to bring forward its first projects in the coming year.

Speaking on the consortium’s potential, MJM Renewables Director Naoimh McConville said, “Deep geothermal represents an untapped opportunity in Northern Ireland, and with the urgent need to develop renewable energy sources, Geothermal NI projects will help drive the shift to a zero-carbon economy and society.”