Session 2010-11
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Energy Bill [HL]


After Clause 97


Page 75, after line 11, insert a new line followed by a new clause—

Geothermal power

(1) Within eighteen months of this Bill receiving Royal Assent, the Secretary of State shall, after a period of consultation with industry, geological experts, the devolved administrations, local authorities, energy producers and other interested parties, put into place for the United Kingdom a licensing system and regulations for the exploitation of heat from deep geothermal sources for both the direct use of that heat and for the generation of electricity.

(2) The licenses shall relate to—

(a) individual geographically delineated areas on land.

(b) the heat held by rocks greater than one kilometre below the surface.

(3) Licenses shall give exclusive exploration and production rights for the purpose of energy production from geothermal sources, both direct heat and electricity generation, to the licensee, for that area, and for a specific period of time.

(4) The Secretary of State shall lay down regulations for the method of allocation of licenses to those organisations wishing to explore and/or exploit those resources.

(5) The Secretary of State shall undertake the first round of allocations within six months of the licensing regulations under (1) being approved.

(6) Any organisation already undertaking exploration or exploitation from geothermal sources within the United Kingdom, in that they have already undertaken, at the time the licensing regime comes into force, boring for the purpose of exploiting geothermal heat to below one kilometre, shall be entitled to hold the first license awarded for that license area. Any licence fee or other consideration for that license area as a part of the licensing regime will then be determined by arbitration under rules determined by the Secretary of State reflecting the fees or other consideration paid for licenses deemed to have similar potential.

(7) The holding of a licence for the exploration and/or exploitation of deep geothermal heat shall not convey any automatic rights in terms of planning permissions for surface development, or give any rights in terms of surface access.