Expansion of geothermal heating in Poing, Germany to help keep energy prices stable

Expansion of geothermal heating in Poing, Germany to help keep energy prices stable Poing, Germany (source: matze_ott / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 15 Sep 2022

Expansion of the share of geothermal may be the solution to rising energy and heating costs in the municipality of Poing in Bavaria, Germany.

In the midst of concerns over rising energy and heating costs, plans were announced to make district heating in the municipality of Poing in the Bavaria, Germany. As indicated by Bayernwerk Natur GmbH, the operator of the Poing geothermal heating plant, this should reduce the dependence on natural gas and keep energy prices in the region stable.

Robert Budde, sales managed and general manager at Bayernwerk Natur GmbH, said that EUR 54 million had already been invested in the geothermal heating plant and the district heating network. 80 percent of the heating network is currently already being supplied by geothermal energy. However, this still leaves a 20% share for natural gas, making the region vulnerable to price increases.

For context, the price per MWh in Poing has increased from 75 to 150 euros from July 2021 to July 2022. This price incorporates a fixed price and a variable price that depends on the current market costs for electricity and gas. Bayernwerk Natur GmbH is planning to “harmonize” the pricing model by increasing the fixed portion from a quarter to half.

To attain this, the geothermal share should be increased to the highest possible 81%. The portion of heating from natural gas will be largely replaced by a heat pump, accounting for 12%. Budde announced that the large heat pump was already acquired in 20221 and that it should be ready for use by 2023. The remaining heat demand will be suppled by the residual stock of natural gas or oil.

The company is also looking into the feasibility and economic viability of expanding the district heating network. Budde reported that there are currently increasing inquiries from areas in Poing that are not connected to the heating network, mostly with concerns over the rising energy prices. According to his estimate, up to 80% of Poing can be supplied with district heating.