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International Geothermal Conference, Freiburg, Germany, May 10-12, 2011

6th International Geothermal Conference 2010, Freiburg/ Germany (source: Enerchange)
Alexander Richter 30 Apr 2011

Which technical, financial and political obstacles have to be overcome to lift the geothermal potential is discussed at the 7th International Geothermal Conference taking place from May 10 to 12, 2011 in Freiburg /Germany.

“The energy policy of the German government has made a complete turnaround in the past months – now questioning the extension of operation period of the German nuclear power plants approved in autumn 2010. Up to now the outline and temporal dimension of the nuclear phaseout programme is not clear. It is obvious, however, that in addition to wind and solar energy as well as storage technologies other renewable energies are needed, which can provide baseload energy.

Geothermal energy might provide valuable services in this context – a possibility which is tested also by one of the four major German energy utilities, the EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG: “The development of renewable energies is one of the key issues for us. Geothermal energy as base-load energy can give an important contribution for a future energy mix. As shareholder in several geothermal power plants in the Upper Rhine Valley, we are collecting experiences since several years, helping us to continue developing these technologies. The aim is to produce low enthalpy geothermal energy on an economic scale in Germany”, says Professor Dr. Wolfram Münch, head of the department of science and innovation at the EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG.

About 20 geothermal power plants in Germany show, that the technical requirements are given to produce geothermal electricity and heat. A recent study of the German Umweltbundesamt titled “Energy target 2050: 100% renewable energies” estimates the feasible potential of geothermal energy to be about 10% of the electricity demand in the year of 2050. In another study, comissioned by the German ministry of environment at 2010, the potential for heat generation is assessed to be about 15 % of the heat demand in Germany in 2050.

Which technical, financial and political obstacles have to be overcome to lift the geothermal potential is discussed at the 7th International Geothermal Conference taking place from May 10 to 12, 2011 in Freiburg /Germany. The key aspects of the first conference day are the implementation of EGS-projects, public relations for geothermal projects, potentials of the geothermal pumps as well as potentials and case studies in France, Germany and in Africa.

On the second day different discussion forums are offered amongst others about cost reductions and progression in efficiency and financing of geothermal projects. Both are are translated simultaneously into English as well as the EGS short course and the pump workshop on the first day. Field trips to geothermal projects in the Upper Rhine valley on the last day of the conference give a round up and thus a perfect overview about the current themes and topics related to geothermal energy. More than 200 international participants are expected for the conference. For further information about the conference programme and the online registration please visit www.geothermiekonferenz.de. Closing date is May 2, 2011. Later registration is possible however charged with an extra fee.