Clean Energy Wire reports that a new exploration process launched by Germany’s economy and climate ministry (BMWK) aims to better exploit a renewable energy source, geothermal energy, whose great potential for heating has so far been under-utilised. The ministry aims to consult policymakers, industry groups and other stakeholders in potential geothermal energy generation regions to unlock this energy source that Economy and Climate minister Robert Habeck says “is reliably available throughout the whole year, does not depend on the weather, is crisis-proof and almost non-depletable.”
His ministry has therefore developed a first concept including several concrete measures to improve geothermal heating use. “Using geothermal energy has to be thought of consistently with the expansion and decarbonisation of our heating grids,” Habeck argued, which are intended to contain 50 % climate-neutral heating energy by 2030. Habeck announced at the beginning of his term last year that the government aimed to exploit up to 10 TWh of geothermal energy by the end of the decade, which should be achieved by opening at least 100 new projects in the next years.
Deep geothermal energy can make a major contribution to the decarbonisation of Germany’s heating sector, a study published earlier this year found. It could cover more than a quarter of Germany's annual heat demand (over 300 TWh) and generate additional revenue and jobs. The technology has been used for decades in many European cities, such as Paris and Munich, but has not yet received much attention elsewhere in Germany's heating sector transition, where oil and gas still dominate.