State funding approved for Lower Saxony geothermal projects, Germany

State funding approved for Lower Saxony geothermal projects, Germany Lüneburger Straße in Bad Bevensen, Lower Saxony, Germany (source: Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 10 Mar 2023

The State of Lower Saxony, Germany has approved state funding to hedge the risk of geothermal projects in Munster and Bad Bevensen.

The Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Climate Protection of the State of Lower Saxony in Germany has decided to award a conditionally repayable grant to support geothermal pilot projects in the towns of Munster and Bad Bevensen. Although the exact amount of the grant is yet to be announced, it will be in the “tens of millions.”

The grant was decided in recognition of the discovery risk in geothermal, which is a major obstacle in the realization of said projects. The risk refers to the danger that a geothermal reservoir does not have the necessary characteristics to support further development. Since test drilling is very expensive, the state wants to hedge the production risk to a certain extent.

The two projects are proceeding and are at different stages of the development process. The pilot project in Munster is about to be approved for funding. In Bad Bevesen, a separate municipal operating company has been founded with which promotion of geothermal energy will be done for climate-neutral health resorts.

“If successful, hot water from the ground can be used to heat the pools and other buildings in a climate-neutral manner and save large amounts of fossil fuels. Deep geothermal energy is therefore real climate protection and I am pleased that after a long discussion we have finally found a funding model,” said Energy Minister Christian Meyer.

A meeting had also been held between Meyer and Martin Feller, the mayor of Bad Bevensen. Based on the discussion, the plans for project were laid out. Test drilling will be done to a depth of 10,000 feet (approx. 3000 meters). The objective of this would be to assess if the resource can provide enough heat for several nearby buildings, including two clinics and a spa.

Twelve exploration permits for geothermal energy have been granted in Lower Saxony so far. In late 2022, we reported on the granting of geothermal exploration permits for the city of Soltau and the district town of Uelzen.

Source: Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, and Climate Protection