The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has called on ministers to harness the full potential of geothermal energy to lower Britons’ energy bills and boost energy independence.
Geothermal energy is energy stored beneath the surface of the Earth – when used with a heat pump, geothermal can offer small-scale heating.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, EAC suggests the government has been “slow” to exploit the potential of geothermal power.
MPs have said this type of power has not been “fully integrated” into the government’s net zero strategy.
This has resulted in holding back the sector, which could help the UK move faster towards its climate goals.
EAC Chairman, Philip Dunne, said: “In its efforts to make the UK’s energy market more resilient, it is surprising that the government appears to have overlooked the potential of geothermal energy.
“The Committee heard that geothermal energy could more than satisfy the UK’s current heating demand, a contribution which could result in a 20% saving on the UK’s current greenhouse gas emissions.
“This energy is beneath our feet and is ready to be explored to test its commercial viability.”
A BEIS spokesperson told ELN: “The government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy recognises the potential of geothermal energy to help decarbonise heat as part of the government’s commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
“The government is assessing geothermal energy’s potential as a cost-effective option for the future and will carefully consider any findings and additional evidence from the EAC.”