How can the heat for heating systems in Germany be provided in a climate-friendly and regenerative manner? Municipal utilities have been dealing with this question for a long time. Initial projects such as the use of Aachen thermal water for heat supply point the way. Now the city utility STAWAG (Aachener Stadtwerke), together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy, would like to enable more climate-friendly heat generation: For this purpose, heat is to be extracted from the depths and fed into the Aachen heating network. The cooperation agreement that has now been signed forms the basis for joint research and development.
“We are committed to climate protection: In the past few years we have achieved great success in expanding renewable energies, all aspects of energy efficiency and electromobility,” explains Dr. Christian Becker, board member of STAWAG. “Mathematically, we already generate the entire amount of electricity consumed by Aachen households and smaller businesses in our own green electricity systems. Now it is important to set the heat supply to “green”. “So far, most of Aachen’s local and district heating has been obtained from the waste heat from the Weisweiler coal-fired power plant. This is to be replaced by highly efficient combined heat and power and renewable energies such as geothermal energy by 2030. Solar thermal projects and innovative local heating concepts are also on the STAWAG agenda.
“Heat is half the energy transition,” emphasizes Prof. Dr. Rolf Bracke, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy (IEG). “Our research supports municipal energy providers, industries and real estate companies in generating heating and process heat sustainably, regionally and reliably in the future.” A technology that can make a significant contribution is hydrothermal geothermal energy, which uses hot water from the deep underground as a heat source uses. “We now want to clarify together with STAWAG how much geothermal energy is in the Aachen region.”
With a cooperation agreement, the two partners are now sealing their cooperation and soon want to begin the preliminary scientific investigation in a prospecting field in the north-east of Aachen. The first goal is to map the most promising rock layers at a depth of three to five kilometers and to find indications of thermal water flowing in them with temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius. Echo sounding methods and exploration drilling could serve this purpose. The two partners have already presented their ideas for Aachen in the “Immediate Program Plus” funding call from the Rheinisches Revier future agency, and last year they received the “2. Star «received.
“The detailed work is now starting for us,” says Frank Brosse, managing director of STAWAG Energie GmbH, who initiated the project on the part of STAWAG. “Overall, we hope to be able to use deep geothermal energy to replace a third of the power that we have so far obtained from Weisweiler.” It will be a few years before that happens. With the next step – the in-depth exploration of the region around the Aachener Kreuz – the cooperation partners lay the foundation stone.
Rich history of thermal water use
“Aachen has a rich history of 2000 years of thermal water use for heat supply – from the first geothermal heating network in Roman times to cloth production in the Middle Ages from Charlemagne to today’s spa houses and baths,” explains Prof. Dr. Rolf Bracke from Fraunhofer IEG. “We want to build on these and continue them as part of the energy transition. After Munich, Aachen with the local heating network in Aachen-Burtscheid is already the second major German city with a geothermal supply from hot limestone. “The Aachen and Burtscheider springs in the urban area are fed by a karstified limestone layer, the water seeping into the Eifel from great depths as thermal water to the surface again. Geological structures that are decoupled from this, but similar, are likely to exist in the east and north of Aachen, but their water does not make it to the surface. The cities of Munich and Paris have been promoting this type of thermal water from deep wells for many years and using it for their district and local heating networks. In the Netherlands and Belgium, farmers heat their greenhouses with hot thermal water. »In order to follow these examples and supply Aachen with sustainable heat, we need more data from the region. Together with STAWAG, we are therefore now taking a deep look into the underground. ”
In the Netherlands and Belgium, farmers heat their greenhouses with hot thermal water.
“In order to follow these examples and supply Aachen with sustainable heat, we need more data from the region. Together with STAWAG, we are therefore now taking a deep look into the underground. ” In the Netherlands and Belgium, farmers heat their greenhouses with hot thermal water. »In order to follow these examples and supply Aachen with sustainable heat, we need more data from the region. Together with STAWAG, we are therefore now taking a deep look into the underground. ”
Source: Fraunhofer IEG