Geothermal Energy Award Bavaria recognises best geothermal plants

Geothermal heat plant of Riem, Munich, Germany (source: Stefan Obermeier/SWM)
Alexander Richter 31 Oct 2019

In its annual Bavaria Geothermal Energy Awards, awards were given to the best geothermal heating plant, Heatplant Riem of Stadtwerke München, and for the best geothermal power plant, plant Oberhaching Laufzorn of Erdwärme Grünwald.

The annual Geothermal Energy Awards Bavaria recognized again the best geothermal plants in Bavaria, Germany.

The geothermal heating plant Riem of Stadtwerke München won in the category “heat”, Geothermal Grunwald won in the electricity category with its geothermal power plant in Oberhaching Laufzorn. Minister of State Hubert Aiwanger presented the prizes at the Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern earlier this month.

Geothermal energy must play a key role in the urgently needed warming process. It reliably provides low-carbon deep heat and can thus supply entire districts and municipalities with regenerative, regionally produced energy. Added to this is the geothermal power generation – it is (like the heat also) base loadable and therefore ideal to supplement the fluctuating energy sources sun and wind.

That this is by no means a dream of the future is demonstrated by 23 geothermal plants in Bavaria. Overall, they produce around a TWh of regenerative heat. Several other facilities are under construction or in the planning. In order to publicize the efficiency of Bavaria’s geothermal plants and to honor the commitment of the operators, Enerchange launched the Geothermal Energy Awards Bavaria in 2018, which were now awarded for the second time at the Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern 2019.

Operator survey shows impressive potential

“In the operator survey, the 21 geothermal plants in operation in Bavaria were contacted and surveyed, among other things, for their operating data with regard to full-load hours and the energy generated,” Dr. Jochen Schneider, Managing Director of the organizer Enerchange. The geothermal power plant Holzkirchen did not go into operation until December 2018 and thus did not join this year’s evaluation. The plant in Straubing serves exclusively for the supply of the local thermal bath and was therefore not considered.

Other parameters included in the evaluation of the delivery temperature, annual availability, the amount of heat and electricity produced, heat marketing and efficiency in plant operation. The results were impressive, especially given the amount of heat produced. Around 900 GWh of heat were produced in 2018, saving 26,300 tonnes of CO2.

With heat production costs between EUR 30 and 40 euros per MWh, the deep geothermal energy is unbeatably cheap. With an average of 7,769 annual hours of operation, the Bavarian plants were also almost continuously available. The projects, which are currently still in development, show that the potential in Bavaria is far from exhausted. Especially in the south-eastern Molasse basin, near Lake Chiemsee, a new hotspot is developing.

How high the status of geothermal energy in Bavaria meanwhile is, was also shown by the fact that Minister of State Hubert Aiwanger was personally present at the awards ceremony and presented the prizes. In his speech, he also announced a master plan geothermal energy for Bavaria and state support for the expansion of heating networks.

Riem is Goldener Heizwerk 2018

But deep geothermal energy already has a long tradition in Bavaria. In 2004, Stadtwerke München (SWM) started to heat the exhibition facilities of Riem – one of the first geothermal heat projects in Germany. “The SWM awoke the dormant giant geothermal energy at that time”, said the managing director of the Pfalzwerke Geofuture and operator of the geothermal power plant in Insheim, Jörg Uhde, in his laudatory speech.

Riem was the leading geothermal heating system in Bavaria in 2018, followed closely by very successful municipal plants in the Munich area. Plant manager Rainer Kieslinger accepted the award for SWM.

Golden Power Plant 2018 is the plant in Oberhaching Laufzorn

Of the five geothermal power plants in Bavaria, Erdwärme Grünwald was the most successful in 2018. It operates the heating plant in Oberhaching Laufzorn. Drilling began in 2009 and was completed in 2010. “The municipal decision makers had a vision, but also the commitment of the operating team has been crucial for the success,” said Jörg Uhde in his laudatory speech.

The plant had the highest availability in 2018 with more than 8,200 full-load hours and 16 GWh of electricity and 88 GWh of heat during this time. The award for the 2018 Golden Power Plant was given by the Minister of the Environment to Horst Wagner, plant manager and  Andreas Lederle, Managing Director of Grünwald. Andreas Lederle thanked him for his commitment: “Mr Aiwanger, thank you for coming. It’s the first time we’ve had such a high visit here and that shows you appreciate geothermal energy. ”

Christian Hecht Prize for young scientists

And science was also honoured at the Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern. As in the previous year, the Christian Hecht Prize went to the best young scientists in the field of deep geothermal energy in the Bavarian Molasse Basin. Florian Heine from the Technical University of Munich was able to convince the jury with his thesis “Hydro- and isotopic-chemical characterization of the Upper Jurassic Thermal Water Reservoir in the Bavarian Molasse Basin”.

Dr. Christian Pletl from the SWM honoured the commitment of the deceased employee of SWM and passionate scientist Dr. Christian Hecht and addressed politicians stating that science and research need more financial support.

What practice and science in the field of deep geothermal energy can do, showed many exciting lectures and passionate discussions in the various forums of the congress on the Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern.

Source: our German partner website