Geothermal energy support heats up

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The University of Adelaide has welcomed today's announcement by the State Government offering further support to fast-track research and development of geothermal technology.

The State Government has today announced a further $250,000 towards geothermal energy research. This follows $250,000 provided last year to help develop an international research facility into geothermal (also known as "hot rock") energy within the University, working with Geoscience Australia, the CSIRO, and the university research members of the Australian Geothermal Energy Group.

The University has this week signed an agreement with the State Government to help accelerate R&D of geothermal resources in South Australia.

"Today's announcement is another welcome step forward in ensuring that our expertise in geothermal research is recognised throughout Australia and internationally, with great potential benefits for industry and the community," says Professor Richard Russell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Operations).

"The University of Adelaide's researchers have worked extensively with the geothermal industry and are keen to ensure that this State remains at the forefront of research and development in this area. The State Government's support is vital to making that happen," Professor Russell says.

"Geothermal technology offers renewable and CO2 emissions-free electricity generation. Our work will become vital in helping the State to meet its strategic targets, both in terms of energy provision and by assisting the State to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions."

Geothermal research will form a significant part of the University of Adelaide's recently announced Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources. The Institute aims to become the premier research and educational facility for the mining and energy sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.

Professor Richard Hillis, Head of the Australian School of Petroleum, says: "South Australia is the national leader in the geothermal arena due to its unique geological endowment of hot rocks, and also due to a supportive State Government and a university sector that is addressing key issues in commercialising the technology.

"Momentum is building for geothermal energy in South Australia, and today's announcement is a further sign that the State Government is serious about turning our research into a reality," Professor Hillis says.

"We are already partnering with the Australian Geothermal Energy Group and the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA), as well as individual companies hoping to become involved in geothermal energy production.

"Geothermal research projects are currently being undertaken in the Australian School of Petroleum, the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and in the Schools of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide. With the kind of support announced today, that reality of commercial geothermal electricity production in South Australia is getting closer."


Contact Details

Professor Richard Hillis
Head, Australian School of Petroleum
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3080
Mobile: +61 418 110 737

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084