EGEC Market Report 2021 highlights post-COVID resurgence of geothermal

EGEC Market Report 2021 highlights post-COVID resurgence of geothermal EGEC Market Report 2021 (source: EGEC)
Carlo Cariaga 14 Jun 2022

The EGEC Market Report 2021 highlights the growth of the geothermal heating and cooling sectors and continued interest of oil and gas players in Europe's geothermal industry.

The European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) has released their 2021 Market Report that provides an in-depth assessment of the evolution of geothermal industry in Europe during the year 2021. The full report is only accessible to EGEC members, but the Key Findings summary document is available for everyone.

Industry recovery

The rebound of the geothermal industry from the slowdown experienced because of the COVID pandemic was a major finding of the report. In 2021, the sales and new installations of geothermal heat pumps reached record growth levels in several European countries including France (73%), Germany (10%), Austria (59%), and Belgium (35%). Germany and Sweden still dominated this market, accounting for about half of annual sales.

In 2021, 13 new geothermal district heating and cooling projects were commissioned, accounting for more than 154 MWTh of new capacity. France, Poland, and Iceland accounted for more than three-quarters of this growth.

There were a few notable firsts in the geothermal heating and cooling sector. The first geothermal district cooling project was commissioned in Finland, the renewed geothermal industry in Poland is delivering new capacity, and efforts have started for direct use of geothermal heating for a paper manufacturing facility in the Netherlands.

Supportive policy changes

A series of legislative changes long sought-after by the EGEC came in 2021, mostly because of the target of achieving a 55% reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2030. The new policies included risk mitigation frameworks, more effective licensing and permitting rules, mandates for local government to produce renewable heating and cooling plans, and updated targets for renewable energy use in residential and industrial applications.

New players

The year 2021 saw the entry of new players and sustained interest from the oil and gas industry towards geothermal. Some of the other oil and gas players who had already entered geothermal expanded their operations. These included energy utilities like E.ON, oil and gas companies such as Shell, BP, and Chevron, and energy service companies like Baker Hughes.

Strategic partnerships that leveraged the strengths of geothermal power were formed all across Europe. Electric vehicle manufactures like Volkswagen and Renault signed supply agreements with developers of geothermal lithium extraction projects. In Netherlands, numerous greenhouse and horticulture companies signed agreements for direct heating via geothermal.

Source: EGEC