Science masterplan is really hotting up
EXPERTS hope to drill 2,000m below the streets of Tyneside in search of hot rocks to provide green energy.
Scientists from Newcastle University have asked for permission to create boreholes up to 2km deep – 100 times the height of the Angel of the North.
They believe there is geothermal energy in the ground beneath the former Scottish and Newcastle Brewery site which could provide natural central heating for the Science Central development earmarked for the site.
And they want to set up two boreholes to test the temperature and find out whether the method could be used to produce electricity or supplement hot water for buildings planned for the site.
In 2008 researchers’ ears pricked up when maps published by the British Geological Survey revealed Newcastle had geothermal energy potential.
Now they have applied to the city council for planning permission to start the work and planning chief Harvey Emms is recommending councillors give it the green light.
Last month Newcastle University scientists celebrated successfully siphoning water at a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius from 1km below the ground at Eastgate in County Durham.
The water was brought to the surface by a twin borehole system, the first of its kind in the UK.