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New French Minister of Ecology highlights geothermal as example of “concrete ecology”

Visit to the Cachan geothermal heating project, near Paris/ France (source: Instagram/fderugy)
Alexander Richter 18 Sep 2018

The newly appointed Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition in France, Francois de Rugy, visited the Cachan geothermal heating plant near the city of Paris in one of his first official visits highlighting the ecological benefits of geothermal heating.

Earlier this month, François de Rugy, Minister of ecological and solidarity transition in the French government, visited the Cachan geothermal heating plant for an official visit with Hélène de Comarmond, the mayor (PS) of Cachan, and Jean-Yves Le Bouillonnec his predecessor.

He came to hail an “innovative experience, which shows large-scale know-how”. François de Rugy has chosen the city of Cachan and his geothermal plant to make his first official trip as minister of ecological and solidarity transition. If the minister has come here, it is for sub-horizontal drilling that has just ended. This engineering, commonly used in the oil and gas industry, is for the first time in the world applied in the field for geothermal heating. The local region is leader in the region of Ile-de-France, around Paris, with 55% of the geothermal heat produced in the region.

“Thanks to the sub-horizontal drilling (note: the wells are at 90 degrees against 40 degrees before), we obtain more flow and a significantly higher flow, which will allow us to go from 7,000 to 9,000 housing equivalents being heated by geothermal energy by 2025 in the city, “says Sylvia Jéhanno, the president of Dalkia, a subsidiary of EDF that has developed the projected and financed drilling. Currently, 12,000 t of CO2 are avoided each year thanks to geothermal energy on Cachan.

“This is an illustration of what is concrete ecology, congratulates the minister. Here, the inhabitants are actors of the ecological transition just by being connected to geothermal energy. After the various explanations, François de Rugy sees only advantages: “This is a good example. It offers an ecological benefit, it is economically viable thanks to the delegation of public service and there is a social aspect because social housing is connected and the cost of energy is cheaper and controlled, “says the minister. The price for the heating period of 2019 should fall by 3% according to the Ademe, which subsidizes 30% of the EUR 19 million (USD 22m) of the project.

A reality made possible by the voluntarism of the city. Since 1984, it has been involved in geothermal energy. “This first visit is an acknowledgment of our work,” said Hélène de Comarmond (PS), the mayor. A job that does not date from today. There have been mayors like Jacques Carat, or Jean-Yves Le Bouillonnec offensive on renewable energy and their approach to the city in terms of transport and smooth traffic … “The former mayor was also present, as many local parliamentarians. Hélène de Comarmond nevertheless alerted the minister on “the limited means of the communes”.

Source: Le Parisien