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University of Strasbourg creates deep geothermal training courses

Installation at Soultz geothermal plant, France (source: soultz.net)
Alexander Richter 14 Apr 2014

The University of Strasbourg in collaboration with ES Energy, a subsidiary of EDF, announces geothermal training courses to answer industry demand for training in geothermal in France.

Reported today from France, the University of Strasbourg announces the creation of the first university chair dedicated to geothermal energy, in partnership with ES Energy
It should improve the knowledge around this energy and to train specialists.  

With a budget of € 2.1 million ($2.9 million) over 8 years, the university will offer three training courses provided by the School and Observatory of Earth Sciences (EOST).

The training will develop essential expertise to the development of geothermal energy on an industrial scale, according to Bernard Kempf, director of development of ES Energy, a subsidiary of utility Electricite de France.

“When you drill a well of 2.5 km in depth you must have some guarantee of finding resources. This is a sector that is not yet mature, for which one must be cautious. ”

Today the geothermal plant in Guadeloupe, French territory in the Caribbean is now the only geothermal plant to produce electricity on an industrial scale through volcanic activity in France. Strasbourg but was not randomly selected for the establishment of the first university course dedicated to geothermal energy. Alsace has indeed a remarkable geothermal potential due to an unusual geological profile.

About 30 million years ago, the Rhine basin collapsed 200 km high and 50 km wide: this allows natural fracturing hot geothermal fluids back near the Earth’s surface: in the North Alsace can find temperatures of 100 degrees “only” a mile deep.

For this reason, Alsace has been a pioneering region geothermal. 23 years of research have enabled ES Energy Group to commission the first European installation of geothermal energy as an experiment. Since 2008, the Central Experimental Soultz-sous-Forêts (2.1 MW) plant has been supplying electricity to 1,500 people and heat to 6,000 people. Other projects are already in the pipeline (among them Rittershoffen , Strasbourg …) in Alsace where new exploration licenses were granted last year.

Students who come out of the die Geothermal Strasbourg university will have great chances of finding opportunities in Alsace or in other French regions where the geology can also exploit deep geothermal energy: the Massif Central, the Rhône corridor …

Source: L’energie d’avancer