The role of shallow geothermal energy (SGE) use in reaching the EU2020 goals

12. 9. 2017

The workshop was attended by 25 international experts from 17 institutes and 8 countries. Based on six short presentations on different aspects of the inclusion of SGE in energy planning strategies a panel discussion was hold on the current and possible future role of shallow geothermal energy.

The workshop revealed that shallow geothermal energy has the capacity to support the EU2020 goals. Barriers are given by the current economic boundary conditions (cheap fossils and high costs for electric energy) and lacking awareness of decision makers. To overcome these barriers communication between geoscientific experts and stakeholders must be intensified. In that context, the Covenant of Mayors represents a crucial stakeholder and Sustainable Energy Action Plans represent important instrument for implementing SGE in local energy planning strategies. Geoscientific experts may also contribute to a further inclusion of shallow geothermal energy by harmonizing methods for assessing the available geothermal resources. Then, the resource models have to be translated in a way energy planners can directly use them. Of course, this requires a continuous communication and mutual capacity building measures on both sides.

A. Kinsperger (City of Vienna), A. Loose (City of Ljubljana) and K. Zosseder (TU Munich, coordinator of GRETA) presented the current role and future aspects of SGE in the cities Vienna, Ljubljana and Munich. All mentioned cities intend to include shallow geothermal use in their respective energy supply strategies and action plans. The projects GeoPLASMA-CE and GRETA will provide crucial instruments for the later integration. A. Kress (PEACE_Alps) and R. Vaccaro (GRETA) presented specific measures and workflows how to implement SGE in local energy strategies. While R. Vaccaro focused on technical workflows, A. Kress in turn reported on capacity building measures for decision makers by pooling know how and resources for establishing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). Finally, B. Sanner (European Geothermal Energy Council) presented current European market statistics. By the end of 2015, more than 23 GWthermal is installed at more than 1,7 million shallow geothermal utilizations. A high density of shallow geothermal installations exists in the Scandinavian countries as well as in Austria and Switzerland. Although markets of shallow geothermal techniques are well established in some European countries, SGE is hardly mentioned in National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs). Only seven EU countries defined strategic goals for the implementation of shallow geothermal energy. Four out of these seven countries (Sweden, Germany, France and the Netherlands) are well on track, while the remaining three countries (Denmark, Italy and the UK) are lagging behind.

The presentations can be downloaded here.


Participants at the KEW


Speakers at the KEW