Geothermal players Unterhaching and Pullach to cooperate

Geothermal players Unterhaching and Pullach to cooperate Unterhaching Geothermal Power Plant, Germany (source: flickr/, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 29 Mar 2021

The two geothermal district heating players Geothermie Unterhaching and Innovative Energie Pullach in Bavaria, Germany announce technical cooperation.

Reported before the weekend, the two geothermal companies of Geothermie Unterhaching and Innovative Energie Pullach (IEP) have announced a cooperation starting April 1, 2021.

While nothing will change for the customers of the two companies, both have big plans. As part of the cooperation, Geothermie Unterhaching will change its technical service provider for its district heating network and rely on the technical services of IEP. With this cooperation, the mayors of both municipalities hope to bundle competence and achieve synergies that support the activities on geothermal for both.

The technical service of Geothermie Unterhaching involves a 50-kilometer network of district heating pipes with around 850 heat transfer stations – these valve shafts must be checked regularly. The IEP is already very far, especially when it comes to digitization, and Unterhaching is now hoping for similar progress. As both geothermal companies use exactly the same technology, the changeover on April 1st can easily take place overnight.

The new IEP service team is going to be available to the approximately 14,000 people in Unterhaching who are using the environmentally friendly geothermal energy fuelled district heating. IEP will increase its service team by two employees.

Advances in digitization

Beyond digitization advances in remote error diagnosis, the two managing directors, Wolfgang Geisinger (Geothermie Unterhaching) and Helmut Mangold (IEP), are eagerly looking to the future. Both companies are part of the nationwide project “Heat transition through geothermal energy”, and both managing directors see a lot of potential.

Large-scale networking with Munich as a hub

“When it comes to energy, you have to think broadly,” says Geisinger. Beyond Unterhaching, which would like to expand its geothermal district heating market share from the current 60 to 75 percent, a network with the state capital Munich is being considered, and a university study has already been commissioned. “In about 15 years”, estimates Mangold, “there will be district heating axes from Holzkirchen to Ismaning and from Gauting to Ebersberg, intelligently networked via the Munich hub.” Unterhaching’s mayor Panzer also expands the focus: “Renewable energy cannot be an isolated solution . ”

Geisinger emphasizes that the reservoir of underground hot water in the 700-meter-thick rock layer between the Danube and the edge of the Alps is “gigantic”. The fact that Munich has a hundred times as much district heating as Unterhaching: no problem. IEP colleague Mangold calculates the benefits of a comprehensive network: “If Munich’s hunger for district heating increases, we could run our systems for twice as long as now – with unchanged fixed costs, which halves them.” extensive coverage of the entire Munich area is possible ”.

Source: Merkur