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Cranfield University Leads the Way with New Geothermal Classification System

28 Dec 12:00 by Steve Walia

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The UN Economics Commission for Europe has confirmed that it will be implementing a geothermal power classification system that has been devised by a team of academics from Cranfield University.

Professor Gioia Falcone was headhunted by Cranfield to lead the team of academics thanks to her academic background in Geothermal Energy Systems and her experience in holding a directorship at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering.

Cranfield has a long-standing history of working closely with the green energy sector, and it trains engineers to move into technical roles in renewable energies.

Geothermal power offer a constant, renewable and abundant source of clean energy. Only 10pc of the world's potential is currently being harnessed, and only a relatively small proportion of countries are using it, despite the clear benefits of having a constantly renewing, guaranteed and predictable energy source that requires little maintenance and which emits no damaging greenhouse gases.

The technology involves drilling down under the Earth's crust to create a permanent borehole. At the inner core, the Earth reaches temperatures in excess of 5,500 C, and this is where the energy comes from - directly providing heat energy or using steam to power electricity-producing turbines.

Of course, there are resource and energy costs associated with the production of power from this source, although research and industry experience suggest that the benefits do exceed the costs. 

The university and UN hope that the work done so far to develop standardised specifications for identifying, comparing, classifying and reporting estimates of the world's geothermal resources will help to further adoption of this fantastic clean energy source and hasten its use worldwide.

Additionally, the adoption of a single universal classification system will benefit investors, developers, regulators and businesses alike whilst helping to educate the broader public.