Geothermal energy: meeting financial and technical challenges

The Renewable Energy Directive establishes an overall policy for production and promotion of energy
from renewable sources in the EU
setting a target to fulfil at least 32% of renewable energy by 2030, including an annual increase of 1.3 percentage point of the share of renewables in heating and cooling. With its vast and largely untapped potential, geothermal energy is a renewable resource that offers a solution to meet this challengeGeothermal technologies are suitable to provide heating/cooling in district heating, for industrial processes or in individual buildings, and for the supply of dispatchable, baseload and flexible renewable electricity.

As opposed to the exploitation of conventional sources, deployment of this renewable resource continues to remain a challenge often due to lack of awareness and large investment costs associated with drilling and operations of geothermal power plants. In particular for large projects, development risks are high due to uncertainty on the quality of the resource – which determines the output of the plant. To reduce cost and risk, innovation is a resource on the technical level. At the political and financial level, risk mitigation schemes have proven effective in driving down the cost of geothermal. Relying on different technologies, deep/shallow geothermal projects therefore provide a significant potential to generate and drain, or even better, store low temperature heat for domestic and commercial use.

Despite the offerings, such energy transitions not only necessitate techno-scientific advancements but also cultural, social and political choices – A regime shift often calling for a public debate. The workshop therefore, aims to create awareness about the maturation of the geothermal energy and its value to usher a clean and sustainable energy future whilst highlighting the environmental, financial and technical challenges and associated advancements in tapping this natural resource. Recent developments in identification of these challenges and their solutions, undertaken in the framework of different European funded projects on geothermal energy, will be presented.

Speakers

Senior researcher
Geological Survey of Austria
Project Manager
Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, European Commission
Research Policy Officer
DG Research & Innovation, European Commission
Managing Director
Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL), UK
Secretary General
EGEC, Brussels
Chief Technology Officer
Magma Energy Italia, Arezzo (Italy)
Section Manager, Surface Engineering
TWI Ltd, UK
CEO
von Düring Group, Luzern, Switzerland
Industry Group Manager,Power, Equipment and Infrastructure
TWI Ltd, UK