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Geothermal Resource Map of Ireland

Name of Contractors: CSA Group, Conodate Geology, Cork Institute of Technology
SEAI Grant: €185,500
Completion Date: July 2004
Download Report: Geothermal Energy Resource Map of Ireland – Final Report

Overview

This study was performed by the CSA Group, in co-operation with Conodate Geology, Cork Institute of Technology and the Geological Survey of Ireland. The goals of the study were to:

  • Identify potential geothermal energy resources in Ireland.
  • Create geothermal models of Ireland and gather the necessary thermal, geological, structural and hydrodynamic data to facilitate modelling.
  • Produce a GIS-linked geothermal database and, using the models, create a series of geothermal maps of Ireland.
  • Review the current status and utilisation of geothermal energy resources in Ireland.
  • Present recommendations on the potential for exploitation of geothermal resources in Ireland in the context of international best practice.

The study surveyed or compiled data on warm springs and groundwater temperature trends. In order to map the subsurface temperatures, all available borehole data in the Republic of Ireland was assembled.Temperature data from 19 mineral and oil exploration holes, ranging in depth from 300m to 2500m (deepest borehole Drumkeeran (No 1), Co Leitrim), was retrieved from previous surveys. In addition to this, CSA surveyed 32 existing, open boreholes to obtain their temperature profiles.This survey examined holes ranging in depth from 40m – 810m (deepest borehole 01-541-03, Co Galway). A preliminary review of data
from Northern Ireland was also included.

All survey data was added to the existing temperature data compiled in earlier studies.The data is presented in the Final Report, which may be downloaded from SEI’s website.

Geothermal maps have been produced for surface levels, as well as 100m, 500m, 1000m, 2500m and 5000m depths.The maps can be viewed using MapInfo software, allowing temperature plots to be examined with the accompanying geological data overlaid. Individual borehole data points with references may
be interrogated.

Project outcome

The results of this review indicate that Ireland is particularly well suited to the use of ground source heat pumps, due to its temperate climate, along with rainfall levels that ensure good conductivity and year-round rainfall recharge.

There are abundant marine and surface water geothermal resources, which could be exploited in Ireland, but they need some encouragement for their development.The two main areas of warm spring development are in north Leinster and the Mallow region.

Considering the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland together, this review has indicated a regional increase in temperatures ranging from 17ºC to 19ºC in the Republic to 25ºC to 27ºC in Northern Ireland at a depth of 500m. At 2500m, the increase in temperature ranges from 28ºC to 45ºC in the South to 64ºC to 97ºC in the North. This indicates significant geothermal sources, with the potential for commercial development. Definition of the exact profile and extent of the geothermal sources, and quantification of these resources, requires additional assessment in any areas deemed to be of interest.

For further information contact:
Róisín Goodman
CSA House
7 Dundrum Business Park
Windy Arbour
Dublin 14
Tel: 01 296 4667
Email: rgoodman@csa.ie

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