Eavor-Europe’s™ project site at Geretsried attracted a bustling crowd of government officials, engineers, geologists, policy makers, and media on Thursday, Aug. 24 to witness the inauguration of Eavor’s first commercial power plant.
Some of the most notable attendees included Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder, Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, and Alberta Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz.
While attending the event, Scholz emphasized the importance of amplifying innovative ideas involving geothermal extraction, as they have a viable chance of bringing “new prosperity.” Additionally, Scholz explained that using this clean energy to generate heat, especially as Germany aims for net-zero, is “obvious” because “it is always there.”
Multiple articles explained Geretsried’s history of drilling attempts in the search for hot water, yet yielding no results for viable traditional geothermal extraction. The subterranean landscape at Geretsried has an average geothermal gradient, and according to Eavor CEO John Redfern, that was a part of the justification to develop there.
“It was, if anything, a site proven to be impossible for geothermal development. That, of course, was a part of the appeal. Anyone can produce geothermal in one of its special niche areas where it traditionally works– Iceland, for example. That said, no one is going to be impressed if we demo geothermal in Iceland. To prove that we are a truly scalable, go-anywhere solution, we need a demonstration in a more typical location like Geretsried,” said Redfern.
This solution eliminates costly exploratory risk. In Eavor’s case, the presence of hot water is not necessary for heat extraction, which means the technology could be used practically anywhere, as Eavor EVP and President Eavor GmbH Daniel Mölk explained during a tour for the press representatives.
“The subsoil here is extremely well known from preliminary tests,” said Mölk, elaborating that valuable data is to be collected from this site for further commercialization.
“The system is designed to be broader. We want to go into mass production with geothermal energy.”
The possibility of mass production across Europe may be a viable venture, as some scientists noted Eavor’s notable versatility. According to Professor Rolf Bracke, the eminent head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructure and Geothermal Energy (IEG), Eavor has the potential to revolutionize energy production in areas where the subsoil lacks natural thermal water flow, which catalyzes possibilities for exploring Europe’s deep crystalline subsoil.
When power generation proves successful in Geretsried, heat generation using an Eavor-Loop™ is possible for almost any other region in Germany, according to leading geoscientist and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Inga Moeck.
The inauguration of Eavor’s first commercial power plant not only attracted a variety of esteemed guests, but it showcased Eavor’s technology as a beacon of innovation and collaboration, demonstrating ambition to expand further into the European continent.