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Croatia launches new bid round for four geothermal exploration licenses

Map with the exploration blocks on tender in Croatia, June 2020 (source: CHA)
Alexander Richter 3 Jun 2020

The Croatia Hydrocarbon Agency has launched a tender for four geothermal exploration blocks with a combined 50 MW geothermal power generation capacity potential.

In an announcement today, the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency announced a new bid round for the exploration of geothermal waters for energy purposes.  Four exploration blocks are in geographical area of ??the Drava valley in which a significant geothermal potential has already been proven.

Investors were thus offered the exploration areas Ernestinovo, Lunjkovec-Kutnjak, Legrad-1 and Merhatovec with a total area of ??207 km2.It should be noted that the temperature at all locations exceeds 100 degrees C, which is the minimum temperature required for electricity generation, while the total potential of all locations is around 50 MW of electricity power.

The potential of exploration areas has been identified in earlier wells drilled for oil and gas exploration and production, which now greatly reduces the risk and costs to future investors.

In addition to electricity, geothermal energy has great potential in district heating, where future investors, in cooperation with the local community, have the opportunity to cascade production – from electricity, district heating to agriculture where geothermal water is used to heat greenhouses.

Commenting on the opening of new bid round, the President of Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency Marijan Krpan pointed out that geothermal energy is a symbolic transition from fossil to renewable energy sources because it uses the knowledge and experience gained in the exploitation of hydrocarbons.

Croatia has in house knowledge and experience, but also natural potentials that we must direct to renewable sources from which our economy and community will benefit the most. – said Krpan.

Croatia has a high geothermal gradient that is almost twice as large as the rest of the European continent.

The production of electricity from geothermal sources is clean and renewable, but also stable – weather conditions cannot affect power production, power plants operate 24/7 with a capacity factor of up to 95%. In addition to the production of electricity, the greatest potential of geothermal energy is in heating projects, for which Croatian cities and counties are also showing great interest.

Source: CHA