Area with geothermal potential identified near Freiburg, Germany

Area with geothermal potential identified near Freiburg, Germany Freiburg im Breisgau/ Germany (source: flickr/ geoterranaute, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 13 Oct 2021

Local heat utility badenovaWÄRMEPLUS has identified a 70 sq. km area with high potential for utilisation for geothermal heat production.

On the basis of previous investigations, local energy utility badenovaWÄRMEPLUS was able to identify an area of ??70 square kilometers with high potential for geothermal heat utilization. The local council members are to be involved in the further process.
As badenovaWÄRMEPLUS announced in a press release, it has been able to gain valuable knowledge about the use of regenerative heat from the depths in the past few months. You have identified a potential area in which further investigations should take place. With the establishment of a “citizenship council” one wants to involve citizens in the area concerned right from the start. For this purpose, badenovaWÄRMEPLUS is planning various events to provide transparent information about the further progress of their project.

Great potential identified in the southern Upper Rhine

According to information from badenovaWÄRMEPLUS, the first investigations in the almost 320 square kilometer exploration area for heat recovery from the depths on the Upper Rhine were positive: The previous findings have been confirmed and confirmed. On the basis of the investigations, a potential area of ??approx. 70 square kilometers for geothermal use could be successfully staked out. The further potential analyzes are now running on the districts of the seven municipalities of Breisach am Rhein, Merdingen, Freiburg, Schallstadt, Ehrenkirchen, Bad Krozingen and Hartheim.

“A first important milestone on the common path to regenerative heat generation for the region has been achieved,” said Heinz-Werner Hölscher, board member of badenova. Because the energy turnaround in Germany can only be achieved if the heating turnaround is heralded in addition to the electricity turnaround. “Already 50 percent of the electricity in this country comes from renewable energy sources, but we are still at a meager 15 percent for heat”.

The use of deep geothermal energy could be one of the central solutions. And it is nothing fundamentally new in the region: the popular thermal baths – from the Freiburg Eugen-Keidelbad to the Vita Classica in Bad Krozingen, the Cassiopeia Therme in Badenweiler to the Balinea Therme in Bad Bellingen – demonstrate it in small ways: They use successfully the warmth from the earth’s interior, which the Romans already appreciated for their bathing culture.

What happened so far:

To identify the geothermal potential in the region, the badenova subsidiary received an exploration permit from the Freiburg Regional Council (RP) or the State Office for Geology, Raw Materials and Mining (LGRB) located there. An area of ??almost 320 km² has been intensively examined in the course of a so-called “prospecting” over the past few months. Among other things, existing data from 2D seismics was analyzed.

New gravimetric measurements were also included in the analysis. In these gravimetric examinations, changes in the gravity field in the subsurface are examined with special measuring devices that work on the principle of the spring balance. In order to condense the data even further, these measurements were supplemented by aero-magnetics. A helicopter flew over a defined area and recorded parameters of the earth’s magnetic field with a measuring device.

In the following phase, 3D seismic measurements are carried out in the potential area. They provide information as to whether suitable geological structures are available on site for tapping the heat from the interior of the earth.

Involve citizens

In the population of southern Baden there is, on the one hand, a great awareness of climate and environmental protection and also a great deal of expertise – on the other hand, climate protection activists monitor the activities of the city and the local energy supplier very critically. There are also reservations about geothermal energy, even if the uplifts in Staufen after improperly executed boreholes for geothermal probes (near-surface geothermal energy) have absolutely nothing to do with the planned use of deep geothermal energy.

In order to transparently involve the citizens of the seven municipalities in the ongoing investigations right from the start, badenovaWÄRMEPLUS is therefore planning to set up a citizenship council. A representative cross-section of the population should be represented in this. The participants are selected at random. The aim is an exchange on possible questions as well as an opinion-forming of the participating citizens by hearing critics, supporters, scientists, project planners and representatives of associations or organizations.

Further information on the subject of geothermal energy and the badenovaWÄRMEPLUS potential study is available at

Source: badenovaHEATING PLUS via our German partner website TiefeGeothermie