Wuppertal, Germany utility to investigate potential for geothermal heating

Wuppertal, Germany utility to investigate potential for geothermal heating Wuppertal Hauptbahnhof, Germany (source: Tom Dunkler / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 22 Nov 2022

The utility company of Wuppertal, Germany has started work with Fraunhofer IEG to investigate the feasibility of using geothermal for district heating.

The municipal utility company of Wuppertal, Germany, Wuppertaler Stadtwerke GmbH (WSW), has started a joint investigation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy (Fraunhofer IEG) for the potential geothermal resource of the region to supply the city’s heating demand.

More specifically, the joint project will investigate the possibility of tapping a heat source down to a depth of 5000 meters. The current stage of the investigation will only involve the collection of existing geological data and the creation of subsurface models. The feasibility of distributing geothermal heat via the existing network is also being assessed, as well as other ecological, technological, infrastructural, and financial impacts. The results of these studies should be available by the spring of 2023.

WSW had previously set a target of climate neutrality by 2035. “This means that we as a company have to change fundamentally in some areas,” says Markus Hilkenbach, CEO of Wuppertaler Stadtwerke.

The location of Wuppertal in the region of Bergisches Land in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) gives it an advantage as a prospective site for geothermal development. The Devonian Massenkalk carbonates in this region have been cited as a good host for geothermal heat extraction because of their stratigraphic thickness and fracture peculiarities.

Should the results of the initial investigation be promising, WSW plans to do seismic investigations and test drilling. “The decisive aspects are the usable temperature level and the integration into the existing heating network or the creation of additional local heating networks,” explains Dominik Pröpper, Head of Energy Generation at WSW.

Source: Wuppertal Total