Geothermal heating network at Pullach, Germany set for expansion

Geothermal heating network at Pullach, Germany set for expansion Pullach at night (source: superdealer100 / flickr, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 28 Apr 2022

With stronger municipal and local support, the geothermal heating network in Pullach, Germany is now expanding and aims to provide 100% coverage by 2027.

Plans for the expansion of the geothermal heating network in Pullach are now underway with the increase in equity of the municipal geothermal company Innovative Energie Pullach (IEP) from EUR 12.5 million to EUR 30 million. This was approved by the municipal council.

Among other things, the money will be used for the drilling of three geothermal boreholes in south Pullach. IEP Managing Director Helmut Mangold expects the new boreholes to add an extra output of 77 MW, effectively tripling the use of geothermal energy in Pullach. IEP will also be building a geothermal heating system before the end of the year with Stadtwerke Munich under Isartal GmbH.

Increased local support

In view of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Mangold described the Ukrainian was as the “Fukushima moment of fossil fuels.” Many residents in Pullach seem to feel the same way, as there has been an increase in demand for geothermal heating even from those who had previously rejected the concept. About 100 additional homes are scheduled to be connected to the network this year, with another 200 on the waiting list.

Expansion of the district heating network should be completed by 2027, four years earlier than originally planned. The network currently has a total length of around 50 kilometers, supplying 1,119 properties with a load of 30 MW. After expansion, the network should become about 60 kilometers long, serving 1,640 properties with a load of 59 MW.

Low investment risk

Geothermal energy currently already covers 46% of the private and commercial heat requirements of Pullach, excluding the process heat of the chemical company United Initiators. Mangold expects the coverage to become 100% after the expansion. The IEP Managing Director emphasized how state support in the form of federal funding and official approvals are critical elements for the execution of this expansion project.

With growing demand and the certainty of the existence of a geothermal resource, the investment risk for the expansion project is very low in the eyes of the IEP. This makes the expansion a considerably better business case compared to the development of geothermal energy in Pullach 20 years ago.

In 2021, we reported on a technical cooperation between IEP and Geothermie Unterhaching that aimed for technical synergy between the two municipalities.

Source: Suddeutsche Zeitung