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Importance of Soultz EGS project highlighted by recent conference

Installation at Soultz geothermal plant, France (source: soultz.net)
Alexander Richter 18 Oct 2011

The successful geothermal conference at Soultz-sous-Forets provided a great overview on the importance of the Soultz project for development in the Upper Rhine region, but also beyond for EGS development worldwide.

Early this month the first Soultz Geothermal Conference took place at Soultz-sous-Forets in France. For two days, over 150 participants representing science and industry discussed geothermal energy in the Upper Rhine, a border region between Switzerland, France and Germany.

The event focused on the activities on deep geothermal project development, from exploration to utilization. The program included presentations on the various scientific research elements at the Soultz-sous-Forets project, but also development in Bruchsal, Insheim and Landau. It highlighted the importance of geothermal in the Upper Rhine region.

Different presentations given included a presentation by EnBW on the project in Bruchsal, Bestec on the project in Insheim. The Swiss Geothermal Explorers talked about the Base project, but also the plans of seven Swiss utilities – cooperating in a JV called Geo-Energie Suisse AG – to jointly develop EGS projects in Switzerland.

Another presentation introduced the ECOGI project, which intends to develop a geothermal heating plant for a factory in the North of Soultz-sous-Forets in Rittersheim. Drilling is supposed to start in 2012. The partners of this project are Energie de Strasbou, Roquette Freres  and private investor Caisse de Depot. The project is supported by the French Environmental and energy management agency ADEME.

The importance of the Soultz project for science was highlighted in a presentation that spoke about that more than 41 PhD thesis’s and even more Master thesis’s have been written on the project.  Furthermore 235 scientific articles published in international magazines highlight the enormous knowledge pool created by the project that today builds the basis for all projects in the Upper Rhine. Truly a unique basis in the global context.

Various scientific presentations talked then about all the different aspects of the Soultz project and its implications for the region and EGS development in general.

The geothermal plant at Soultz has been a truly special scientific research project, having set a good precedent for the various geothermal projects in the Upper Rhine region, as well as for EGS development world-wide.

There is hope that this will not be the last conference at Soultz going forward.

Thanks to Jochen Schneider of Enerchange for pointing out the sum-up of the conference.

Source: TiefeGeothermie.de (in German)