Lifeline for millions in Red Wall as underground heat to provide ‘real economic benefits’

Green Britain: Geologist explains how geothermal site works

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As households in the UK are currently gripped by the worst effects of a major fossil fuel energy crisis, experts have warned millions of lower-income households, like those in traditional industrial areas, will be severely affected. With analysts estimating the energy price cap will be raised to £3,200 a year, Ofgem warned 12 million households could face fuel poverty, even if the increase is £400 lower at £2,800 a year.

In order to boost the UK’s self-reliance on energy and bring down bills, the Government has announced major investments in wind power and nuclear energy, while also greenlighting new oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

However, Jo Gideon, a Conservative backbench MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central offered another solution which could help bring an end to the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, while bringing an economic boost to Red Wall regions.

Speaking to, she said: “We have become increasingly aware of energy security, as well as the need to meet our Net Zero targets, and geothermal energy offers a home growth opportunity to add to our domestic energy mix.

“As energy consumption grows and we transition away from fossil fuels, it is essential that we explore the viability of new green technologies.

“Stoke-on-Trent City Council has already given planning permission for a deep geothermal bore hole in the city centre.

“I understand that the geology locally is particularly suitable for deep geothermal.

“This will complement other green energy sources such as mine water heating.”

In a recent report, Dame Andrea Leadsom, Ms Gideon and Lord Lilley, who are members of the Conservative backbench committee on business, energy and industrial strategy, suggested that the waters inside abandoned coal mines could be used to heat homes in industrial areas, particularly in red wall towns.

Ms Gideon continued: “In the 1922 BEIS Backbench Committee inquiry we featured maps of areas which might be suitable for exploration, as well as a map indicating coal mine entry points.

“The latter coincides with many ‘red wall’ constituencies, and there is some overlap with deep geothermal, including in Stoke-on-Trent.

“The establishment of these new technologies in traditional industrial areas will bring real economic benefits.

“As the Member of Parliament for a red wall seat, with a long history of coal mining, I am delighted that out of our polluting industrial past a new era of clean green industrial activity will breathe new life into the local economy and provide a sustainable source of low carbon heat for the future.

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“We already have a district heat network and the opportunities that a combination of deep geothermal and mine water heating offer the city in terms of new, high-skilled jobs and economic growth is exciting.

“Investing in repurposing the legacy of a traditional dirty industry to deliver new clean heating will be popular in those communities that have historically been ‘left behind’.”

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