Geothermal energy essential for post-carbon period in State of NRW, Germany

NRW Geothermal Conference 2019 (photo: Michal Kruszewski)
Alexander Richter 20 Sep 2019

In transforming the old coal region and becoming carbon-neutral, geothermal energy for heating will play a major role for the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, as highlighted by a regional geothermal conference this week in Bochum.

At the 15th Geothermal Conference for North Rhine-Westphalia this week, the main theme was on “how can heat supply and district heating supply in metropolitan areas be made climate-friendly or climate-neutral in the post-carbon era?”

Geothermal energy was described as a building block to successfully shape the heat and energy transition in North Rhine-Westphalia: decentralized, renewable and almost nationwide available. In order to further promote this climate-friendly technology, not least as an economic factor for the NRW location, the EnergyAgency.NRW organized the conference on September 19, 2019 together with the International Geothermal Center (GZB) and the German Mining Museum German Mining Museum in Bochum.

As in previous years, the participants were informed in an introductory presentation about the results of the expansion in the geothermal sector in 2018 in North Rhine-Westphalia. This was followed by the award of the municipality and the district with the highest increase in geothermal heating 2018 in NRW. NRW Economic State Secretary Christoph Dammermann distinguished the district of Coesfeld and the town of Havixbeck.

State Secretary Dammermann said: “Geothermal energy is an important component of future and responsible heat supply in North Rhine-Westphalia. In our state, more than half of the required space heating could be obtained from geothermal energy. The district of Coesfeld and the municipality of Havixbeck are a good example of the increasing popularity of technology. ”

The district Coesfeld is leading in the category “counties” in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2018 with about 280 installed geothermal heating facilities. That is even 30 more installations than in 2017. The winner certificate was the Coesfelder district administrator. Christian Schulze Pellengahr handed over. In the category “communities” won the municipality Havixbeck. In 2018 there were more than 29 new geothermal heating facilities. The certificate was presented to Mayor Klaus Gromöller.

Frank Schoof from the Netherlands presented the geothermal energy master plan for the Netherlands. Leonhard Thien, geothermal expert of EnergieAgentur.NRW, commented: “The Netherlands is taking a clear path. In the heat supply of the greenhouses, deep geothermal energy already plays a major role today, and according to the master plan it will continue to be expanded in the future. In addition, since mid-2018 no new buildings have been heated with natural gas in our neighbouring country. The Netherlands is relying on geothermal heating for new construction, so that the Dutch government’s target of reducing greenhouse gases by 49 percent by 2030 can be achieved. ”

The Geological Service NRW presented the project “DGE Rollout”. In the cross-border EU project u. a. investigated the use of deep geothermal energy for climate-friendly heat generation at power plant sites in NRW. Thereafter, the country has promising geothermal energy reserves. State Secretary Dammermann: “The use of deep geothermal energy promises climate-friendly and sustainable energy with high security of supply. Perhaps the future of North Rhine-Westphalia’s heat supply lies deep beneath us. ”

Dr. Frank-Michael Baumann, Managing Director of EnergieAgentur.NRW, added: “The emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) must also be reduced in the energy state of NRW. The industry is setting a good example and I would very much appreciate it if a first geothermal district heating project or the paper industry in Weisweiler would implement a deep geothermal project in NRW. In NRW we lack a reference system based on the Munich model. ”

Source: Energie Agentur Nordrhein Westfalen

We thank Michal Kruszewski of the GZB in Bochum for pointing us to the report from the event.