Passionate discussions on future of geothermal energy utilisation in Bavaria, Germany

View over Munich, Bavaria/ Germany (source: Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern)
Alexander Richter 10 Oct 2019

At the 7th Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern congress yesterday in Munich, participants passionately discussed how the deep geothermal energy sector will be able to develop its potential to supply urgently needed heating in the building sector in Bavaria and beyond in Germany.

Experts from science, politics and industry discussed how the deep geothermal energy sector will be able to develop its potential to supply urgently needed heating in the building sector in the morning of the congress day at the Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern event yesterday in Munich, Germany.

Passionate discussions accompanied the kick-off of this year’s event. After Prof. Manuel Frondel from the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research presented his thesis on CO2 pricing in a keynote speech – he pleaded for an emissions trading system with a low starting price, as decided by the German government in its climate package – it provoked strong opposition from the audience. “Without a CO2 price of EUR 110 per ton, we have no innovation in Germany,” said Erwin Knapek of the German Geothermal Association. “We can not start slowly, we do not have (the) time anymore.”

In his keynote address, Benjamin Richter from Rödl & Partner explained the significance of the heat transition for climate protection: “Heat accounts for 51 percent of our energy-related emissions. In addition, we have a great dependence on fossil energy imports. “Rödl & Partner have developed a matrix with the” heat target “to map the relationship between settlement pattern and heat density. One conclusion from the analyses is: “A successful mix of heat requires a mix of instruments depending on the level of urbanity. For densely populated areas, district heating from deep geothermal energy is one of the key technologies. ”

The third keynote was dedicated to the Bavarian Molasse Basin as a total geothermal system. Prof. Michael Drews, who holds a professorship for geothermal energy systems at the Technical University of Munich, explained what research can do in practice. There are still open questions in the complex field of interactions between flow rates, stresses, pressure and temperatures.

CO2 price of the climate package is not bold enough

The speakers in Forum I on the morning of the congress day largely agreed that the climate package presented by the German government will not be sufficient to achieve the climate protection goals. “The policy is following the development,” stated Matthias Albrecht of the law firm Becker, Büttner, Held. “We have to start much more ambitious. Citizens and industry are ready. “He also pleaded for an abolition of the EEG (renewable energy act) and CHP (combined heat and power) levy. “This is a bureaucratic monster and has a fatal steering effect.”

The fact that geothermal energy has to find a broader perception in politics and the population has been confirmed by several speakers. “We have to actively bring geothermal energy into play as an alternative,” says Ralf Hengherr of B.E.B. Office for decision-making and construction research.

In their presentations, Dr. Michael Rapp (AGFW) and Herbert Koschel (Stadtwerke München) showed that a green district heating supply brings many benefits to the communities. The added value remains in the region and the climate protection goals become achievable. Andreas Lederle of Erdwärme Grünwald also advocated the networking of municipal geothermal district heating networks: “This is the royal road for climate change and heat.”

The concluding lively panel discussion dealt with the perception of geothermal energy in public again. The speakers pleaded for stronger networking in the industry and consistent lobbying in the political committees. Then geothermal energy can develop its potential. The Praxisforum Geothermie.Bayern helt for the 7th time this year, has been a key event contributing greatly to the discussions and development of geothermal projects in Bavaria, Germany.

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Source: Enerchange