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Could Havant be sitting on its own hotbed of untapped energy potential?

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 20th November 2015

Ray Havant Springs

Ray Cobbett sitting next to one of Havant’s springs

 

HEAT from the earth could be used to provide hot water for thousands of homes and public buildings.

A growing group of people believe Havant could be sitting on a hotbed of untapped geothermal potential.

The technology draws up hot water that has been heated by rocks from hundreds of metres below the ground.

Southampton has been a pioneer of the technology since the 1980s and the scheme now heats a number of buildings, including Southampton Civic Centre and West Quay.

Geological studies appear to show the same geothermal aquifer stretches across the south coast to Havant.

Havant Friends of The Earth now plans to talk to Havant Borough Council about the potential of a feasibility study, which could be supported by EU funding.

More than £3bn has been set aside for the next five years to explore non-nuclear energy research.

Ray Cobbett, from the environmental group, believes a good place to start the research would be a disused borehole, off Hulbert Road, near Leigh Park.

Northern Petroleum drilled more than 4,000ft beneath the ground to explore for oil, but the site never went into production.

Mr Cobbett believes Leigh Park would be the perfect place to have cheap heating for homes.

‘If we are looking at renewables, all options have to be considered,’ he said.

‘Havant has a fuel poverty issue – it’s one of the most serious in the county.

‘It would be a big step towards delivering affordable, renewable fuel to the Havant area. We have suggested the council applies for EU money to do some exploratory work and if it shows promise move forward on a business case.’

Councillor David Guest, who is in charge of regeneration, said: ‘We remain very open-minded about it and would welcome any approach to carry out research.

‘If there’s a practical, cost-effective solution, then I think it’s a phenomenal way going forward. I would always support it – however, we need the right research conducted.’

 

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