Net zero pathways - building the geothermal energy sector in Northern Ireland

Date published: 24 June 2022

Last updated: 13 February 2023

Northern Ireland (NI) Geothermal Energy Week (#NIGeothermalWeek) was held between 13- 17 June  2022 at Riddel Hall, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast. This was an inaugural event for the geothermal community in NI which inspired, energised and focused attention on the geothermal potential in NI for decarbonisation. It provided policy makers, industry and research communities with the opportunity to come together, and create the conditions for defining the vision for the future of geothermal energy.

As part of its commitments set out in the Energy Strategy, the Department for the Economy also commissioned Arup and the British Geological Survey (BGS) to produce a report evaluating the current geothermal energy sector in NI.


The research report (Building the geothermal energy sector in Northern Ireland) commissioned by the Department for the Economy into the geothermal sector in NI highlighted that geothermal energy integration could provide a low-carbon alternative to current fossil fuel energy sources. Building this sector will help contribute towards commitments to the net zero target and transition NI towards a just energy future. This report focuses on the confidence-building actions needed to build the geothermal sector in NI. The report consulted widely and therefore reflects the experiences of those leading out on, or working with, geothermal projects.

The "Defining the vision for geothermal energy in Northern Ireland" report summarises the Geothermal Energy Week event and makes recommendations for further work required to build the sector.

The research report produced by Arup and the BGS, “Research into the geothermal energy sector in Northern Ireland”, reviews a broad range of geothermal technologies, describing the characteristics of each. Further, a comparison of geothermal regulatory frameworks from other countries has been conducted.

Through these reviews, the authors suggest priority technologies and policy mechanisms that could aid the development of the geothermal energy sector in NI.

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