‘This project has given us hope for the future’: Why I support geothermal drilling in my village

Like many residents I was alarmed when the planning application for a “power station” in our village first appeared. Having looked carefully at the application we have decided to fully support it.

The site is 500m away from my house so we will definitely see and hear the construction.

Like many people in the village, and across Cornwall, we try to do everything we reasonably can to address climate change whilst still living our lives. We’re not campaigners or activists, we watch the news and see how urgent the climate crisis is. We still have diesel cars and occasionally fly on holiday.

Everyone here recycles meticulously, many in the village have already invested in green technologies, here we already have solar thermal hot water (2004), Solar PV panels (2011) and a farm-scale wind turbine (2012), having installed all those things we have then watched as the atmospheric CO2 level continues to rise, and shows no sign of even beginning to slow. Whilst they’re surely not bad things to do, it’s clear that policy is NOT sufficient to address climate change. We simply must decarbonise the entire electricity supply.

Of course, the question everyone is asking is “why here”. It is clear from the application that Manhay has a rare combination of suitable geology, road access for the large drilling rig, and crucially, electrical grid access. It is also away from the prettiest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and (World Heritage Site (WHS) mining sites, next to a busy A road.

Geothermal is new to the UK but it has some wonderful advantages: available 24/7 (unlike solar/wind), requires only a tiny area 2 Ha. and produces electricity for just 5g/kWh compared to 425g/kWh from the gas turbine at Indian Queens that it will start to displace.

We have watched and read about the damage climate change is causing for so many years now, seen Government sign up to new (distant) targets, seen policies written locally, and maybe now, at last, we see some sign that real change maybe possible as private money seeks to build this geothermal plant.

This project has given us hope for the future and we are happy to put up with some months of temporary disruption from the construction process.

Tim Fern

Menhay Farm