In the 2014 Autumn Statement £31 million has been allocated to BGS through NERC to establish the Energy Security and Innovation Observing System for the Subsurface (ESIOS). This is a first of a kind, pioneering system to realise the huge potential of Britain’s underground energy resources. It will 'take the pulse' of the UK's underground, ensuring that our activities are environmentally sustainable.
At its heart, ESIOS will be a group of science research facilities where new subsurface activities such as fracking for shale gas can be tested and monitored under controlled conditions. The scientific data will be published freely online to encourage transparency in the industry, and to provide underpinning science for regulation. This research will address many of the environmental issues that need to be answered for the development of home-grown, secure energy solutions. This includes carbon capture and storage, geothermal energy, nuclear waste disposal, underground coal gasification and underground gas storage - securing jobs and income for British regions.
The first ESIOS facility will be based in Thornton, Cheshire and a second site will be located in a suitable area in the UK covering a different range of geological and energy conditions. The new facilities will complement and build on those of the BGS and the wider academic community.
Please contact enquiries for more information.