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Crewe explores potential of geothermal energy

Plans to extract geothermal energy from beneath Crewe are being explored by Cheshire East Council, according to the Crewe Guardian.

The town has been identified as one of only six sites in the UK with the potential to deliver the renewable energy source.

At a cabinet meeting on 22 July members voted to begin a feasibility study into the potential for deep geothermal energy generation at a 2.5 acre site in Leighton West.

The council point to independent studies that show parts of the borough are sitting on enough natural energy supplies to heat every home in Cheshire East for centuries.

Boreholes 4 km deep will be drilled to access 100 deg C water beneath the Cheshire Basin. The water could then be extracted and the steam used to drive turbines for electricity generation.

An independent study will now be commissioned to report on both the suitability of the site and how the extraction could take place.

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the earth. The geothermal energy of the earth’s crust derives from the original formation of the planet and from the radioactive decay of minerals.

The natural energy source, used widely in parts of Europe, Japan, the US and Thailand, is green, clean and cheap.

It has been found in abundance in Crewe following studies by consultants on behalf of the Renewable Energy Association.

The discovery provides the potential to drive down local energy prices, create a self-sufficient energy supply and cut down on CO2 emissions.

Should extraction be proved viable, it would place Cheshire East at the forefront of the growth of geothermal energy in the UK.

The opportunity at Leighton was identified through background research undertaken by the council with support from consultants late last year.

The research looked at sites owned by the council where opportunities for deep geothermal heat and power could be unlocked.

Following the findings of the study and any confirmation of the potential, the council said they would look to work with the public and private sector to bring forward a scheme which will include seeking planning permission and a public consultation as part of that process.

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