People “strongly in favour” of using old gas wells for geothermal scheme – consultation

More than 80% of people have supported plans for reusing former gas wells in North Yorkshire to provide renewable energy, according to survey findings published today.

Potential geothermal sites in North Yorkshire

DrillOrDrop has reported on proposals by Third Energy, now owned by the renewable company Wolfland Group, to provide geothermal heat for homes and businesses in Ryedale.

The company is carrying out feasibility studies on eleven wells near Pickering, Kirby Misperton and in Dalby and Wykeham Forests.

Early results suggest that at least some could be a source of geothermal energy. One contains water with a temperature of 80-90 degrees Celsius, the company has said.

The findings of a residents’ survey by Ryedale District Council showed that people were strongly in favour of the idea.

  • 84% said they were happy or satisfied with the proposal
  • 83% said they were potentially interested in using geothermal energy
  • 78% said they would be interested in signing up to a community energy scheme if it were available

Cllr Mike Potter, member champion for climate change at Ryedale District Council, said:

“We are very grateful to everyone who took the time to tell us what they think. It’s good to know that there is overwhelming support for a project which could turn old fossil fuel infrastructure into clean renewable energy and help reduce Ryedale’s carbon footprint.”

Russell Hoare, managing director of Third Energy, said: 

“These geothermal projects reflect our commitment to renewable energy and that the company will no longer be pursuing fossil fuel development at our sites in Ryedale.”

People also had the opportunity to ask questions at a series of events during June and July 2022.

The council reported there were concerns about fracking the wells. Third Energy, under previous ownership, had planned to frack the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton. The operation did not happen because the company did not get government consent. The new management of Third Energy has ruled out fracking.

Other concerns included adaptions to homes, costs, impact on the local environment, the feasibility studies and how long the wells could provide geothermal energy.

Ryedale Council said it had direct conversations with 260 people. 109 people completed the survey.

The final results of the feasibility studies are expected towards the end of this year.

Third Energy intends to prepare plans for an initial geothermal project in the first part of 2023.

The energy could, potentially, be used to heat commercial businesses, such as agricultural greenhouses, as well as homes.

Updated 4/10/22 with quote from Russell Hoare

2 replies »

  1. Congratulations to all concerned. It is good to see a success story and a potential source of green energy coming from the debacle of fracking. I wish this company every success.
    And this result also shows that contrary to claims made at the time by some fracking supporters, the communities that oppose fracking are not NIMBYs, they are against fracking.

  2. Except KatT there were people within the local community who did support fracking.

    For either group, what is really the issue here is that old wells that needed a new boost to keep them producing energy will now try another tack. Whether it is a success story for this new direction remains to be seen. Meanwhile, I am just listening to the news as I type this about possible gas shortages this year and the concern about the implications of a cold winter.

    The really good news is the decision to move on with what could be the first commercial fusion plant in the world, in Notts. Again, could be good news, could be a false dawn.

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