Could Ballycastle be renewable energy ‘capital’?

BALLYCASTLE SDLP councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed news that a study supported by IRETHERM to assess the potential for geothermal energy extraction - natural hot water - is to be progressed in the Ballycastle and Rathlin areas.

Councillor Cunningham said: “IRETHERM is an all-island, academic-government-industry collaborative project between DIAS, UCD, UCC, GSI, GSNI, and SLR Consulting to develop a strategic and holistic understanding of Ireland’s geothermal energy potential through integrated modelling of new and existing geophysical and geological data.

“Their technique involves the deployment of surface sensors which passively measure subsurface electrical resistivities and allows for a geological model to be constructed as to the underground rock layers without the requirement for any drilling.

“The study required to carry out the rock measurements requires only a minimal amount of local disturbance and provides geological information on the nature of the rocks without the requirement for drilling, as well as providing information as to the potential for a geothermal energy project around Ballycastle and on the island of Rathlin – a real win-win situation.

“With Tidal energy projects to get under way off Fair Head and Torr Head, the prospect of geothermal energy, makes us the most Renewable energy capital of the region. It is therefore vitally important that local communities see real benefits from these projects.”