Keele experts win funding to research new energy source for Cheshire East
Dr Nigel Cassidy and Professor Peter Styles (School of Physical and Geographical Sciences) have been awarded funding from The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to investigate whether Cheshire East could generate long-term, renewable energy from deep geothermal power.
The £88,000 Industrial CASE Studentship grant is the first fruit of a new partnership between Cheshire East Council and Keele, which recently signed a memorandum of understanding covering work on renewable energy. The Cheshire Basin near Crewe is only one of only six deep geothermal resources in the UK. There is the potential to generate about 100 gigawatt hours a year within a 2.5km radius of the proposed site in Leighton West.
A PhD student will carry out extensive research into the technical and economic aspects of the project, which would entail drilling down up to 5km and extracting water heated by the Earth at temperatures around 100 degrees Celsius. Cheshire East and Keele have also set up a knowledge exchange network to develop commercial advantages in renewables and the low-carbon economy. Together they will work to strengthen research and technological development in innovation to deliver low-carbon energy solutions across the Council's energy framework and geothermal project.
Professor Mark Ormerod, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, and institutional lead for environment and sustainability at Keele, said: "Keele has a very strong commitment to promoting sustainability and it is embedded in all our teaching, research, business and community engagement activities. This partnership with Cheshire East, focusing on research and knowledge exchange into sustainable and low-carbon energy, is a really positive and exciting development, with real potential to deliver significant environmental and economic benefits to the region."