Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is poised to play a vital role in a global energy transition to more sustainable, renewable energy sources. However, these projects must be developed quickly, safely, and environmentally responsibly and meet financial sustainability for geothermal energy projects to maximise their role in reducing carbon emissions. We use our deep expertise across multiple disciplines to provide commercial and technical advice to our clients to advance these projects and develop them globally.

What is geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy is a renewable, continuous and flexible energy source for direct use as heat and/or electricity supply. Resources of geothermal energy can be found worldwide; however, only a fraction of its true potential has been explored due to historical barriers (both technical and non-technical) in the industry.

We support clients to meet the challenges of developing geothermal energy and capitalise on its untapped potential.

How is geothermal energy used?

What comes to mind when you think of geothermal energy? Is it relaxing in a hot spring? Or maybe you know someone who heats their home with geothermal energy or receives electricity generated from it? Geothermal energy has several more applications, and listed below are just a few geothermal power applications, of an ever-increasing list.

  • Generation of electricity powering our homes or helping to decarbonise transport and industry
  • Space heating for buildings. Geothermal power is instantly dispatchable and requires no storage making it ideal for urban areas.
  • Heating for greenhouses to increase food production in colder climates and to extend the growing season
  • Heating for large buildings like hospitals and schools
  • To distil perfume, whisky or rum. For example, the United Downs rum research centre uses waste piped from the geothermal energy plant to operate a copper still for distilling rum and a small facility to mature rum in casks.
  • Dehydrating food, pasteurising milk and other energy-intensive production

 

Diagram illustrating the uses for geothermal energy

Our expertise runs deep

With over 40 years in consulting and advising the energy sector, RPS commercial, technical and project management specialists use their in-depth understanding and experience to advise and support geothermal projects in our backyards and around the globe.

 

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Our expertise

Commercial and technical advisory

Our team provides energy producers with strategy and commercial advice, guiding geothermal exploration and asset infrastructure development worldwide. Our economists and energy specialists draw on the latest economic, consumer and other relevant data to deliver informed opinions and independent evaluations. We can therefore support by developing a compelling evidence-based business case to present to potential investors.

Commercial and technical advisory

 

Permitting and regulatory compliance

Our environmental permitting and compliance team profoundly understand what it takes to get large-scale energy infrastructure projects approved. We have extensive experience in approval processes and regulatory regimes and apply a data-driven approach to environmental consulting, utilising state-of-the-art technologies, including visualisation, spatial intelligence and dynamic scenario modelling. Shaping informed decisions, we support our clients as they develop geothermal projects across the globe.

Permitting and regulatory compliance

 

Environmental Impact Assessments

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are integral to the planning and development process of a geothermal project. Our environmental specialists prepare environmental assessment documentation containing site-specific data, and we identify any environmental and socio-economic impacts that might arise from development. To reduce risk and cost, we follow a staged approach that identifies potentially significant adverse effects early in the process, so they are avoided, managed, mitigated, or offset. We have delivered EIAs for many large-scale renewable energy projects around the globe.

Environmental Impact Assessments

Sub-surface geology and reservoir engineering

Understanding sub-surface geology is key to determining a geothermal project's feasibility. Our team of geologists, geophysicists, and engineers have over 40 years of experience interpreting, evaluating, and modelling the sub-surface and its behaviour. We have developed our independent expertise across the vast majority of the world's energy-producing basins, often working in challenging geographic locations and complex geological environments. We take a data-driven approach to facilitate transparent communication, accurate decision-making, and the right conversations with investors, regulators and key stakeholders.

Sub-surface geology and reservoir engineering

Seismic operations management and support

Seismic data can reveal what lies beneath the earth’s surface and is essential for geothermal exploration and appraisal. However, it must be collected safely and efficiently and meet technical specifications. At RPS, we manage survey design, commercial oversight, in-country and onshore support, health and safety, seismic processing, and data hosting, with this constantly in mind. We support our clients throughout each phase of their seismic acquisition project - from defining and planning, seismic acquisition through to data preparation and delivery.

Seismic operations management and support

Communications and stakeholder engagement

Successful geothermal projects that can help society reap their benefits must be open, transparent and have effective communication between community stakeholders and developers. Our clients benefit from our experience supporting organisations to understand their operations' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact. Our global team of ESG professionals enhance our clients' investments through strategies, processes and policies that satisfy the expectations of the communities in which they operate. We foster vital project buy-in, enabling projects to move forward.

Communications and stakeholder engagement

Project management

RPS supports your team in delivering projects on time and on budget while identifying, mitigating and managing risk. From strategic advice on project methodology, benefits and integration, project management tools, project coordination and reporting, RPS can act as a trusted project management advisor to your organisation or as a fully embedded member of your delivery team.

Project management

Training

We have been training energy professionals for over twenty years. Our portfolio of courses focus on subsurface energy projects and include subject areas including geology and geophysics, seismic interpretation, data science, ESG, commercial strategy, health and safety, and the energy transition.  We set our clients up for success by sharing technical knowledge and transferring skills. We increase understanding and improve decision making of individuals and teams through various development solutions so that energy can be brought to market cost-effectively and safely.

Training

Leading Minds

solving problems that matter

Contact us

David Offer

David Offer

Principal Geologist +44 207 280 3400 EMAIL
London - New Bridge Street | UK
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Andy Kirchin

Managing Director - Technical, Training and Advisory +1 281 448 6188 EMAIL
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Houston - Chasewood | US
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Roger Edgecombe

Operations Director – Technical, Training and Advisory (Canada) +1 403 265 7226 EMAIL
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Calgary | Canada
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Stuart Long

Technical Director - Building Services 0191 232 6306 EMAIL
Newcastle upon Tyne | UK

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