Freiham and Traunreut win 2020 geothermal energy prize Bavaria

Freiham and Traunreut win 2020 geothermal energy prize Bavaria The award winners 2020 Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern (source: Mark Fernandes via Enerchange)
Alexander Richter 14 Nov 2021

The geothermal plants of Traunreut (power) and Freiham (heat) have won the excellence wards for 2020 at this year's Praxisform Geothermie.Bayern in Germany.

Geothermal plants in Bavaria generated over 1.1 TWh of heat and 161,000 MWh of electricity in 2020, as reported by  TiefeGeothermie in  conjunction with the conclusion of the Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern event, October 28, 2021. The geothermal plants once again expanded their role in the country’s energy supply. The most efficient systems in the categories of electricity and heat were awarded at the event in Pullach. This year, the Christian Hecht Prize for the best young academic work is shared by two award-winning candidates.

For the fourth time, Enerchange GmbH & Co. KG, as the organizer of the Geothermie.Bayern Praxisforum, requested the operating data of the Bavarian geothermal systems. “The contribution of geothermal energy generation in Bavaria is growing every year”, stated managing director Dr. Jochen Schneider. “The award of the two systems is not only an appreciation of their individual achievements, but also the overall performance of the Bavarian geothermal industry is deeply impressive again and again.”

The most efficient geothermal heating system in Bavaria achieved 8,592 operating hours in the period surveyed, 7,616 of which were at full load. With 8,760 hours, which are a total of a year, the system ran almost continuously. The highest district heating feed from a single heating plant was over 140,000 megawatt hours (MWh) in 2020; Projected, the Bavarian geothermal plants generated over 1.1 TWh of district heating – reliably, climate-friendly and price-stable.

And the figures for power generation were also impressive, although the new system in Garching an der Alz has not yet been included in the assessment, as it has only been on the grid since the beginning of 2021. Seven Bavarian geothermal power plants produced an impressive 161,000 MWh of climate-friendly electricity in 2020.

In addition to the full load hours and the amount of energy generated, other criteria, such as efficiency and availability, were included in the overall rating for the award of the geothermal energy prizes Bavaria.

Excellent geothermal systems: Traunreut and Freiham

This year, for the second time, the “Goldenes Kraftwerk” award went to the 5.5 MW plant in Traunreut. “They have shown again how to manage a system with a great deal of expertise and attention to detail,” said Jörg Uhde from Pfalzwerke geofuture GmbH in his laudatory speech. “The excellent result is also your personal merit.” Managing Director Andreas Utz accepted the award and passed the praise directly on to his team: “The colleagues are very happy to hang the award next to the other – we left a little space . ”

“The German geothermal market is important for us and we are proud that our Traunreut plant was chosen the second year in a row as the most efficient geothermal plant in Germany. We take pride in our plant technology and see great potential for further development.”, Joseph Bonafin, Sales and Business Development Manager at Turboden.

Traunreut geothermal ORC plant, Bavaria/ Germany (source: Turboden)

The 12-MW system of Stadtwerke München in Freiham was the most efficient geothermal heating system. “You have contributed to Munich making progress on the path to the heating transition,” Uhde praised the award winner. “For that you need people with passion and expertise.” Franz Barenth came to Pullach for SWM and thanked him for the appreciation: “I too can only pass on my thanks to my employees. Without them we would not have made it. ”

Freiham geothermal heat plant, Munich, Germany (source: SWM)
Freiham geothermal heat plant, Munich, Germany (source: SWM)

Young scientists with innovative research

Two young scientists were so award-worthy this year that the Christian Hecht Prize was split up. “It is a special honour for me to be able to award this award,” said Dr. Dietfried Bruss from Stadtwerke München in his laudation. “Christian Hecht was a long-time colleague and we have worked together on many projects. The two award winners have many parallels. They both work for the Geothermal Alliance Bavaria, which also shows the high scientific rank of this institution.

The prize money of two times EUR  500, donated by Pfalzwerke geofuture and Enerchange, had to be shared between the two award winners this year. Both of them deserve the full reputation for their research results. Matthäus Irl presented his work in front of an expert audience at the Geothermie.Bayern practice forum. Sebastian Eyerer was unfortunately unable to come and instead gave an online lecture. “We congratulate the winners and thank the other applicants for their great work. Last but not least, our thanks also go to the operators for their cooperation and participation in the operator survey, ”said Dr. Jochen Schneider in conclusion.

Further information is available at

Image caption (from left to right): Jörg Uhde (Pfalzwerke geofuture) Franz Barenth (SWM), Matthäus Irl, Andreas Utz (Geothermal Kraftwerkgesellschaft Traunreut), Dr. Jochen Schneider (Enerchange), Dr. Dietfried Bruss (SWM)

Source: Our German partner website TiefeGeothermie