Permit revoked for geothermal project near Freiburg, Germany

Permit revoked for geothermal project near Freiburg, Germany Dundenheim Gewerbegebiet, Neuried/ Germany (source:
Alexander Richter 10 Mar 2021

The exploration permit for a planned geothermal project in Neuried, Southern Germany has been revoked due to a lack of required reporting under the local mining law.

The regional council of Freiburg has revoked the permit of Geysir Europe GmbH to explore for geothermal energy and brine in Neuried near the city of Freiburg in the South of Germany. The reason is described as a lack of concrete exploration work and not complying with agreed reporting obligations.

According to the regulations on exploration permits in Germany, the owner of the permit has the sole right to locate geothermal energy in the area applied for. The required investments of the company are then effectively protected from competitors for a certain period of time. The applicant must submit a work program, which specifies in particular the type, scope and purpose of the work to be carried out in the permitted period of approval. For the exploration, existing data and findings are evaluated at this stage. The granting of a permit does not yet entitle the applicant to actual exploration and dismantling work such as drilling on site. 

The exploration permit was granted in 2006 by the State Office for Geology, Raw Materials and Mining to the Neuried municipality. There have been plans for a geothermal power plant for more than 15 years.  Initially planned by different companies, in the last few years by drilling and geothermal company Daldrup und Söhne AG and its former 100 percent subsidiary Geysir Europe. Geysir has since been sold. The search permit for the field remained with the Geysir company. 

The geothermal project will continue to be pursued by Daldrup, as Falk von Kriegsheim, press spokesman for Daldrup, told local media in February 2021. The exploration permit for geothermal energy was last extended by the State Office for Geology, Raw Materials and Mining in September 2018 to September 30, 2021. In the course of the extension, it was agreed that the company would continue to pursue the announced exploration and development of geothermal energy in the Neuried area and submit an annual report to the state office on the exploration work carried out.

There have been so far no reports submitted. According to mining law, a permit should be revoked if the scheduled exploration was interrupted for more than a year. It hadn’t even started in Neuried. The company now has four weeks to sue the revocation. If this does not happen, the field that extends from Meißenheim to Willstätt will be free for other applicants. The RP’s decision was foreseeable after District President Bärbel Schäfer announced in January that the State Office was examining whether the requirements for an extension of the permit still existed. Schäfer had criticized the Daldrup company for inadequate public relations work and a lack of transparency.

The municipal council of Neuried is targeting to buy back the land that was earmarked for the planned geothermal plant.

Source: Badische Zeitung