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New initiative “Heat transition with geothermal” to push geothermal in Germany

Geothermal heat plant of Riem, Munich, Germany (source: Stefan Obermeier/SWM)
Alexander Richter 20 Jul 2020

A new initiative "heat transition with geothermal" has been established by geothermal operators, industry players, associations and others to push the emphasis of the role geothermal energy can play in the transition of Germany's heat sector.

Geothermal energy is “green district heating”, it decarbonises the supply of heating and cooling, reduces energy imports and creates added value in Germany, so a statement by a new initiative founded in Germany. Geothermal energy supply operators, companies in the construction and supply industry, associations and research institutes want to use the initiative to draw attention to the potential of geothermal energy for the heat transition so that it can be used throughout Germany.

The heat transition is one of the top issues in Germany and Europe – ecologically, economically and socially. The use of geothermal energy has the potential to give the heat transition a sustainable boost and to decarbonise the district heating supply in urban regions. For now a long time, geothermal operators in Germany have shown how this potential of geothermal energy can be used economically.

Now, these players have joined together in the “Heat transition through geothermal energy” initiative to put this potential of geothermal energy on the economic and energy policy agenda of Germany. They are supported by companies in the construction and supply industry, associations and research institutes and are open to other participants.

Local geothermal players EWG (Gruenwald), IEP (Pullach) and SWM (Munich) launch geothermal heat transition initiative

This Germany-wide initiative was initiated by the geothermal companies of the three Munich district municipalities of Grünwald, Unterhaching and Pullach as well as the largest municipal energy provider in Germany, the Munich municipal utility company. Together they have been demonstrating for years that geothermal energy is able to take the heat transition forward in big steps. The way there is through the use of the renewable energy source geothermal energy for heat supply, the construction of new ones as well as the renovation and networking of existing district heating networks. This requires fair, sustainable framework conditions, especially at the level of funding geothermal projects and heating networks, support from science and research and a broad social discourse on the opportunities of this ecologically valuable mineral resource.

An initiative unique in the diversity of its participants

Today, the “Heat transition through geothermal energy” initiative already includes twelve municipal and private geothermal energy supply companies from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg with a total heat supply of over 760 GWh per year. Also part of the initiative are the Federal Geothermal Association, AGFW e.V., VKU, Landesgruppe Bayern, the Bavarian Construction Industry Association e.V., the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy IEG and medium-sized companies.

Strong overall package

Geothermal energy companies, associations and the IEG all come together to show that geothermal energy is the key to the heat transition. As “green district heating”, it decarbonises the heat supply in urban regions, creates added value in Germany, reduces energy imports and is therefore one of the most promising climate protectors in the heating market. Geothermal energy is independent of the time of year and day as well as weather conditions and is therefore capable of carrying a base load. It is the fastest possible solution to supply urban regions with heat in a CO2-neutral manner. Geothermal energy is ready for the market and it works across Germany with the right framework. Because geothermal energy is fundamentally available to all people in Germany, the members of the “Warmth through geothermal energy” initiative are now entering into a dialogue across Germany: with cities, counties and municipalities, with municipal utilities, those responsible in the state and federal ministries, economic research institutes, multipliers in the energy sector and with companies from industry and finance.

Source: Initiative’s website, via our German partner platform TiefeGeothermie