Prime Time for next-generation geothermal has arrived, and Germany wants to capitalize

An early January article from German international news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) theorizes the Golden Age of Geothermal may be upon us.

Journalist Gero Rueter’s take on the topic is a well-versed one. Rueter has worked for DW for over 20 years, during which he developed and published a magazine focused on European Environmental reporting and news.

With a spotlight on the potential for deep geothermal energy, Rueter notes that China is by far the largest producer of deep geothermal, with an output of 14 GW. Turkey, Japan, and Iceland follow, with 3, 2, and 2 GW of output respectively.

But given the German lens through which the story was written and published, the piece breaks down how deep geothermal could be harnessed in order to meet national climate targets and meet all infrastructure heating needs worldwide.

According to Rueter, Germany is aiming to create a net zero country-wide heat supply by the year 2045. A study conducted by the Technical University of Munich details major geothermal potential in the region of Bavaria, particularly in southern Bavaria. And although these subterranean heat sources aren’t directly underneath large municipalities with greater heat demand, the report also cites the potential for long-distance heat transfer.

The transfer of deep geothermal heat isn’t the only option for Germanic city-dwellers either. Near-surface heat pumps with boreholes just 400m deep could – in conjunction with deep geothermal techniques – meet the demands of the entire building heating market in the country.

In addition to achieving net-zero by 2045, Germany is also aiming. “smartCard-inline”) to cut emissions by a minimum of 65% by the end of the decade. Tapping into the promise of deep and near-surface geothermal energy will undoubtedly move the nation closer toward such goals, and have added geopolitical benefits as well.

Rueter’s article cites research by a number of German institutions that places the cost of producing deep geothermal energy at under €0.03/kWh. To the untrained ear, this number might sound low – but the cost of producing energy and heat from LNG was significantly lower just two years ago.

Now, among escalating tensions between East and West following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, gas and LNG prices have skyrocketed, prompting more interest in investing in and developing alternative energy and heat sources.

To read Rueter’s full article on DW, click here.

With 25 operational projects in southern Bavaria alone, Germany has hit the ground running amidst global efforts to decarbonize and transition to sustainable energy practices. Eavor is a major player in the German geothermal landscape, with the first-ever commercial-scale closed-loop geothermal power and heat plant under development in Geretsried.

With an estimated baseload power output of 8 megawatts, the Eavor-Loop™ project was recently selected to prepare a grant agreement for funding from the European Innovation Fund. The EUIF is dedicated to promoting innovative ideas for the acceleration of a renewable and sustainable energy sector on the continent.

To many, 2045 can seem lightyears away. But in order for Germany, the EU, and numerous countries around the world to reach ambitious climate change targets, action is needed now. Eavor has taken its proprietary technologies from research and development in Alberta to real-world international applications, just in time to supply the demand for clean, green energy for all.

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