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Evidence week 2020

The UK Geoenergy Observatories team took part in Evidence Week 2020 to talk to parliamentarians about the essential role of geoenergy in the energy mix to meet net zero.

14/12/2020
Evidence week 2020 - Data from underground
The UK Geoenergy Observatories team took part in Evidence Week 2020 to talk to parliamentarians about the essential role of geoenergy in the energy mix to meet net zero.

This year, perhaps more than ever, we have seen how important it is for robust scientific evidence to be available to decision-makers. Every day, Members of Parliament need to ask searching questions of new sources of data, as well as considering complex interactions between variables and trade-offs. Evidence Week, organised by the charity Sense about Science, provides an opportunity for researchers to speak directly with MPs, peers and parliamentary staff; to explore important issues and share evidence.

The UK Geoenergy Observatories, built and operated by BGS on behalf of UKRI/NERC are research facilities enabling the gathering of critical evidence on the feasibility and environmental impact of a range of net-zero and low carbon technologies including shallow geothermal energy, heat storage, hydrogen storage, carbon capture and storage, and storage solutions for wind, solar and tidal energy. They produce publicly available data capable of providing independent evidence to better inform decisions relating to innovative energy technologies policy, regulatory practice and business operations in these areas.

The UK Geoenergy Observatories team took part in Evidence Week 2020 to talk to parliamentarians about the essential role of geoenergy in the energy mix to meet net zero, and to emphasise the need for continued geoenergy research to build the body of knowledge and understanding required to make geoenergy a success.

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Data from underground: The UK is building two underground observatories. Their unique approach with accessible open data makes it possible to review options for zero and low carbon technologies. Source: Sense about Science

Evidence Week 2020, was held in November on a bespoke online platform, instead of being held in its usual location, the Upper Waiting Hall in the House of Commons. This gave us the unique opportunity to have one-on-one virtual meetings with MPs, Peers, and parliamentary staff. All of the people we spoke to had a keen interest in our work and recognised the importance of rapidly increasing our knowledge of the feasibility and impact of geoenergy technologies in order to be able to embed them in our energy infrastructure.

We discussed topics such as the ability of geothermal energy to counterbalance the intermittent availability of other renewable energy sources, the potential of mine water and aquifer geothermal in many of our industrial centres and the benefits the UK Geoenergy Observatories offer to industry. We also had the opportunity to discuss our shared interest in supporting young people to be involved in action towards a sustainable future.  These conversations have led on to further conversations and action, which underlines a key principle of the UK Geoenergy Observatories – to be open and accessible and to inform future best practice.

Eilidh Dunnet
Eilidh Dunnet

Public engagement manager

BGS Edinburgh
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