City utility of Potsdam, Germany targets geothermal energy for efforts on green district heating

City utility of Potsdam, Germany targets geothermal energy for efforts on green district heating Potsdam city view (source: flickr/ sludgeulper, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 30 Nov 2020

Local utility EWP in the city of Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany is making first steps to evaluate geothermal energy as a key clean heating source for its district heating systems.

Local utility EWP of the city of Potsdam continues its work on making the city climate neutral. By 2025, the city wants to reduce its carbon emissions from greenhouse gases by 95%.  The warmth from the earth’s interior is targeted to help the city in the future to supply the citizens of the region reliably and cheaply with district heating and at the same time to further reduce CO2 emissions.

So at the moment, it is planned that measurement technicians for the utility Energie und Wasser Potsdam (EWP) will explore the potential in the state capital that is particularly suitable for a geothermal system in the coming week.  A convoy of two special vehicles and escort / security vehicles will move along various routes through Potsdam and carry out measurements every 40 meters.

“Geothermal energy is a renewable energy, almost inexhaustible and emission-free – and therefore particularly environmentally friendly,” says Eckard Veil, managing director of EWP. The aim of the EWP is to generate green district heating in the future using so-called deep geothermal energy and thus to contribute to Potsdam being able to achieve its ambitious climate targets: the state capital wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 95 percent by 2050. “We produce a large part of the energy we use in the state capital and therefore feel we have a particular responsibility to protect the climate. With geothermal energy, we want to set the course for the green warmth of the future.”

The measurement is carried out with the help of so-called vibro-seismics as with an echo sounder. To do this, a measuring vehicle sends vibrations into the ground and records their echo. This makes it possible to determine which layers are at which depths and where the potential is particularly great for generating geothermal energy. A measuring vehicle places vibration plates on the ground, which vibrate for 16 seconds. This will be felt in the immediate vicinity, but there is no danger for adjacent buildings. EWP plans to provide information about the result of the investigation in spring 2021.

Source: EWP press release