Up to £13m funding available to support deep geothermal projects in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Funding to develop deep geothermal projects is available through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

Running from 2014-2020 the European funded economic regeneration programme for the region will contribute to the EU ambition to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Deep geothermal has been identified as a priority investment and up to £10.6m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the Growth Programme has been allocated for projects. In addition Cornwall Council is providing up to £2.4m of local match funding, recognising the deep geothermal resource as an economic opportunity with social and environmental benefits.  Providing investment to unlock the industry to exploit the resource can help to meet many strategic priorities set out in the Council’s strategy and business plan.

The geothermal resource in Cornwall represents a significant opportunity for renewable heat and power generation. In the 1970’s and 80’s the world renowned ‘Hot dry rocks project’ at Rosemanowes Quarry in Penryn, led  by Camborne School of Mines, confirmed the high temperatures which are found deep underground in Cornwall’s granite. A recent study suggests this resource could meet all of Cornwall’s demand for electricity and 20% of the UK’s demand. Cornwall could lead the way in this new energy sector.

Geothermal electricity offers advantages over other renewable energy sources; it provides baseload generation (24/7, 365 days of the year), as well as being able to react quickly to changes in demand, contributing longer term to a smarter energy system. In addition to generating power, the secondary heat produced by the process can also be used.  This could form part of a longer term plan to tackle fuel poverty, support and attract businesses with high heat demand and safeguard existing jobs. Geothermal also has a very small footprint on the landscape when compared to the same generating output of other technologies and emits no greenhouse gases.

Councillor Julian German, member of the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) Board which is responsible for overseeing the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, said: ‘I am very excited by the call to support deep geothermal projects.  If accessed and exploited appropriately, this estimated level of resource could provide Cornwall with significant economic and social benefits.  The role of the ITI Board is to ensure the most appropriate responses to the deep geothermal call receive our recommendation to the Managing Authority.’

Full detail about this funding opportunity and the application process can be found at www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds/low-carbon-call-in-cornwall-and-isles-of-scilly-oc05r16p-0285

Further information about the European Regional Development Fund can be found at www.erdfconvergence.org.uk/growth-programme/erdf

Further details about deep geothermal can be found at www.cornwall.gov.uk/business/economic-development/geothermal/funding-for-deep-geothermal-projects/

Editor’s notes 

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme is part of the England Growth Programme, which will run from 2014-2020.  Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the only area in England to qualify as a ‘Less Developed’ region and has an allocation of €603.7million which is split as follows:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) €438 million

European Social Fund (ESF) €166 million    


The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has an allocation of £10 million in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, aligned with the wider England Growth Programme.


Details of all Growth Programme calls can be found at www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds?keywords=&location%5B%5D=south-west



Jason Sugden

Media Relations Officer for the Convergence support team

07854 039960

[email protected]

Economic Development and Culture

Economy, Enterprise and Environment Directorate

Cornwall Council, 4th Floor, West Wing, New County Hall,
Treyew Road, Truro, TR1 3AY

Email us at: [email protected]

Visit us at: Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme

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Friday 12 February 2016