My Department engages regularly with the deep geothermal sector, and believes that that exciting renewable energy source has considerable unexploited potential. I shall be meeting the key players in the sector in the new year.
I thank the Minister for his helpful response. Deep geothermal power could generate 10% of the United Kingdom’s energy needs. It is a tried and tested technology which provides energy in countries throughout Europe. The last Government did not support that type of power generation, and rejected calls for the introduction of a licensing structure similar to those of other European countries. What are the Government doing to provide support for this important energy sector?
My hon. Friend has fought a vigorous campaign on behalf of this exciting new form of energy. I am delighted to say that, at my direction, officials are actively examining the practical and legal aspects of an exploration licensing scheme covering geothermal heat and power projects, which will be vital to unlocking the true potential of this renewable energy source.