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Drilling successfully produces hot water for geothermal project, Bad Urach

Drilling successfully produces hot water for geothermal project, Bad Urach Bad Urach old market place, Germany (source: flickr/ derfussi, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 25 Nov 2021

Instead of closing old wells, the city of Bad Urach in Germany successfully redrilled a geothermal well which now could become part of future geothermal district heating.

The German city of Bad Urach in the State of Baden-Württemberg reports having been successful with its drilling campaign which started in September 2021. The past two months, the city has been drilling for thermal water near the spa park in the city. Then, a few days ago, the success: warm water with a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius splashed from the earth onto the ground and evaporated hissing in the cold November air.

The Urach 3 borehole brought success. There is also the Urach 4 borehole. Both are several decades old. They are from the 1970s. They were brought down as part of a federal project. With the help of the hot-dry-rock process, they wanted to generate electricity with geothermal energy. However, the project was unsuccessful and was discontinued in 2004. The holes remained.

The State Mining Office issued the city with the stipulation: if the boreholes are no longer used, they must be filled permanently. Tapping the wells would have cost between EUR 1.5 and 1.8 million, says Mayor Elmar Rebmann.

Therefore, the local council made the courageous decision to start drilling again to look for thermal water. According to Rebmann, this risk cost around EUR 350,000 more. But it was worth it to the local council, especially with a view to climate protection.

Because if the next borehole, Urach 4, also encounters hot water, the warm water from one of the two holes could be used for local heating. Around 500 households could then be supplied with renewable energy.

Source: RTF1