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Interview with the organizers of GeoTHERM, Feb. 28-Mar.1, 2013

GeoTHERM 2012, Offenburg, Germany (source: Messe Offenburg)
Alexander Richter 1 Feb 2013

The 7th Annual GeoTHERM Expo & Trade Show is to take place February 28- March 1, 2013 and I had the chance to interview Sandra Kircher the project manager for the event on the background of the event.

With now only about 4 weeks left until the 7th annual GeoTHERM Expo & Congress in Offenburg, Germany, I had the chance to ask the organizers some questions. Sandra Kircher, the project manager for the event, has done a tremendous job in setting up this event that started in 2007. She has been able to establish this the only serious geothermal trade show event in Europe so far.

The GeoTHERM – expo & congress has established itself over the past years as a firm stop for the geothermal energy industry. When and how did the event start?
The first GeoTHERM took place in 2007. Now in 2013 GeoTHERM will be held on the 28th Feb + 1st March for the seventh time. For me personally it has been impressive to be part of the dynamic developement of GeoTHERM. At the last event 3477 visitors and 174 exhibitors from 32 nations benefited from the opportunity to make valuable contacts in Offenburg. It is amazing to realise how the geothermal market is focused on GeoTHERM. Even for this year’s edition we have enlarged the exhibition area.

The location of Offenburg close the Black Forest in the South of Germany is unique and a bit off from usual conference locations. How does this differentiate other events in the geothermal sector?

Yes, Offenburg is also called the gate to the black forest located in the border triangle of Germany, France and Switzerland. What is the characteristic of GeoTHERM – good question. Exhibitors and visitors are convinced by the service and the engagement that we offer to the geothermal market. For us GeoTHERM is an affair of the heart in combination with a strong acceptance of the branch.

Who has been exhibiting at the event and what people have been attending the event?

The new exhibitor list is already online with 11 exhibiting nations. Just to name a few: Bauer Maschinen GmbH, BERETTA ALFREDO S.r.l., Bosporus New Energy Ltd,  CRYOSTAR SAS, Daldrup & Söhne AG, DRILLMEC S.p.A., E.D.C. s.r.o. European Drilling Center, ECOFOREST GEOTERMIA S.L., Erdöl-Erdgas Workover GmbH, Geofizyka Torun Sp. z.o.o., GEOWATT AG, GPC Instrumentation Process, Halliburton Company Germany GmbH, Herrenknecht AG, MuoviTech Polska Sp. z.o.o., Weatherford Energy Services GmbH.

To the visitors of GeoTHERM belong: Geologists, Geoscientists, Engineers, Planners, Well diggers, Representatives of geothermal and drilling companies, Energy and local authorities, Operators and Investors as well as Scientists.

The event includes a trade show and a conference element, but I hear that there is also a strong social element to it, can you tell us a little more about it?

GeoTHERM stands for an international community which is committed to the idea of geothermal energy and engaged to spread it. For me and a lot of exhibitors and visitors GeoTHERM is just like coming home and seeing everyone again. Especially our social event at the 28th February is the highlight in every calendar.

You are in close contact with companies in the geothermal sector, both on the shallow geothermal side (heat pumps) and the deep geothermal (power generation) side. How would you describe the value of having both represented at one event?

To have a equal balance between shallow and deep geothermal companies represented in Offenburg is one of the unique aspects of this event. Accompanied by two parallel congresses for shallow and deep geothermal energy, GeoTHERM offers a holistic experience.

The GeoTHERM event has grown over the years so there seems to be an increased interest in the geothermal sector in Germany. But there are likely some challenges in the market space. What do you think are key concerns and challenges for the industry in Germany today and how does it affect you and your event?

Yes, there is an increased interest in geothermal energy in Germany. Of course there are challenges to win in the market. In every market are challenges to face. And I am sure that the geothermal industry will play big part in the renewable energy concept of the future.

Naturally GeoTHERM is a mirror image of the industry and its state. But it is not just a reflection of the German market rather than a reflection of the state of the European market.