Directly from the dpa news channel
Freiburg (dpa) – Environmentalists do not give the generation of electricity by means of deep geothermal energy any great opportunities. “We have found that deep geothermal energy, especially for electricity generation, cannot make a significant contribution relative to the overall demand in Germany,” said Werner Neumann, spokesman for the energy working group at the environmental protection organization BUND. The costs and risks are too high. “The reduction in generation costs, which is always expected, has not yet occurred.”
With deep geothermal energy, thermal water with up to 150 degrees Celsius from deep layers of the earth is converted into electricity or heat. For this purpose, sometimes thousands of meters are drilled into the depth.
Only a few areas in Germany offer suitable conditions for this, said the BUND expert: for example, the Upper Rhine Rift, the Alpine foothills and the northern German basin. Many projects have failed due to technical problems, among other things. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, only 0.03 percent of gross electricity consumption in Germany has been covered by electricity from geothermal systems. The industry’s goal of cutting costs has not yet been achieved.
The BUND expert said that deep geothermal energy was more promising if it was only about heat generation. That is more cost-effective and competitive, whereby the earthquake risks should be reduced by careful drilling and covered by insurance. In Baden, the energy service provider Badenova recently secured the right to examine the subsoil in an area near Freiburg for its potential for using geothermal energy. A heating plant is planned that will supply around 10,000 households with heat.
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