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Private developer targets crowdfunding for geothermal project in Bavaria, Germany

Starnberg Lake, Bavaria, Germany (source: flickr/ fuenfseenland, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 2 Oct 2020

A private developer is seeking to use crowdfunding in its second attempt in a geothermal development project near Ammersee in Bavaria, Germany. An exploration permit has been sought.

Drilling for geothermal energy costs a lot of money. But Josef Birner from Herrsching in Bavaria, Germany doesn’t let that deter him and he even hopes to be able to mobilize many wealthy colleagues. The 64-year-old, who otherwise rents out holiday apartments, wants to collect around EUR 14 million via crowdfunding in order to realize his geothermal project in a second attempt. This time with a young team at his side.

His application for a “large-scale search permit” has already been submitted to the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Soon he wants to present his project in the municipalities and in the district office, and start at the beginning of next year to attract investors. He would like to drill on Seefelder Strasse near the former Heine company premises. When? The 64-year-old does not want to commit to a forecast yet. In any case, his confidence is great: “Then the district will be CO?-neutral in no time.” The first interested parties had already registered, said Birner on Tuesday.

Eight years ago he was already quite far, according to his own statements he had a preliminary decision for a geothermal power plant and had contact with an American investor. But then the plans for the construction of the grammar school got in the way, which is now being built at Mühlfeld. This clears the way for a new start, because Birner does not let go of the idea of ??clean energy generation: “I’m not giving up. Now we’re starting all over again.” But he also admits: “I don’t know whether we’ll succeed. But if you don’t try, you’ve already lost.” In any case, it is a risk; This is shown by a view of the surrounding area, where several geothermal projects have already failed; at Weilheim or Höhenrain, for example.

“But you also have to be a little brave to shape our future better,” says daughter Sophie Birner. The 32-year-old is responsible for marketing at Geothermie Ammersee GmbH. A study of seismic lines makes them confident. Herrsching is located in a zone that is called “Markt Schwabener Bruch” in the industry. There is a 90 percent probability that there will be enough hot water in the depths.

With a geothermal system, as much energy can be obtained as with four or five wind turbines, explains Josef Birner. His company wants to provide electricity for 9,000 households and heat for 1,500 households. At least that’s what it says on the company’s homepage, which has only been activated for a few days. His team has set itself the goal of “making geothermal projects more successful, stable and sustainable”.

The area between Ammersee and Starnberger See, for which he has applied for a search permit, is a good 200 square kilometers, according to Birner, and extends from Wörthsee down to Pähl and between Starnberg and Tutzing. In the best case, according to Herrschinger, he would like to build power plants in several places. At the same time, Birner emphasizes that he only wants to implement his geothermal project in agreement with the citizens: “Only if the people want it, not by bending or breaking.”

For the full article see link below.

Details about the crowdfunding campaign can be found here.

Attention: Any crowdfunding campaign has certain risk elements. If and how risk is being addressed as part of the campaign and the planned project should be part of any evaluation of the project. We take no liability in any potential investment decision or on the correctness of the data/ details provided by this campaign, or the article here within. Campaigns like this always in themselves have a certain risk not only for the project, but also a reputation risk for the geothermal sector as a whole.

Source: SZ