News

CrowdThermal – Direct public participation in geothermal development through crowdfunding

CrowdThermal Project Consortium at meeting in Brussels (source: CrowdThermal)
Alexander Richter 26 Sep 2019

With CrowdThermal a new project has been kicked off with EU funding that aims to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects with the help of alternative financing schemes (crowdfunding) and social engagement tools.

A new project, called CrowdThermal with funding through EU Horizon 2020, has been kicked off with a meeting in Brussels earlier this week.

The projects aims to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects with the help of alternative financing schemes (crowdfunding) and social engagement tools. In order to reach this goal, the project will first increase the transparency of geothermal projects and technologies by creating one to one links between geothermal actors and the public so that a Social Licence to Operate (SLO) could be obtained.

About the Project

  • Duration: 1 September 2019, End date: 31 August 2022
  • Funding: EUR 2,305,801.25
  • Funding scheme: H2020 Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future, Coordination and support action.

CROWDTHERMAL will create a social acceptance model for geothermal energy that will be used as baseline in subsequent actions for inspiring public support for geothermal energy. Parallel and synergetic with this, the project will work out details of alternative financing and risk mitigation options covering the different types of geothermal resources and various socio-geographical settings. The models will be developed and validated with the help of three Case Studies in Iceland, Hungary and Spain and with the help of a Trans-European survey conducted by EFG Linked Third Parties.

Community-based, development schemes for geothermal energy

Based on these feedbacks, a developers’ toolbox will be created with the aim of promoting new geothermal projects in Europe supported by new forms of financing and investment risk mitigation schemes that will be designed to work hand in hand with current engineering and microeconomic best practices and conventional financial instruments.

Work Package connections in CROWDTHERMAL project (source: Crowdthermal)

Project Objectives

  • Understand the requirements for social licensing and develop a Social Licence to Operate (SLO) model for the different geothermal technologies and installations.
  • Review any successful case studies, as well as national / EU bottlenecks to alternative financing of geothermal energy in all EU countries.
  • Formulate new financial models for crowdsourcing on a national and trans-national basis, covering individual member-states and Europe as a whole.
  • Develop recommendations for a novel risk mitigation scheme that will be complementing the alternative financing solutions while also protecting private investors’ interest.
  • Develop core services for social-media based promotion and alternative financing of geothermal projects, working closely with existing structures and conventional players.

CROWDTHERMAL is organized around 10 partners from 6 countries with extensive experience in geothermal finance, alternative finance, social media, utility service, research, innovation, education, investment, large-scale geothermal project development and international networking on geothermal energy:

  • Fédération Européenne des Géologues (EFG)
  • Institute for Future Energy Systems (IZES)
  • University of Glasgow (UOG)
  • GeoThermal Engineering GmbH (GeoT)
  • La Palma Research Centre (LPRC)
  • CrowdfundingHub (CFH)
  • Szeged District Heating Co (SZETAV)
  • Spanish Geothermal Technology Platform (GEOPLAT)
  • GEORG – Geothermal Research Cluster (GEORG)
  • Eimur (EIMUR)

Source: CrowdThermal