German energy organisations push for geothermal expansion law

Image by Fraunhofer-IEG. Source: www.ieg.fraunhofer.de

September 21 (Renewables Now) - A group of German energy organisations are calling on the federal government to introduce a geothermal development law in order to enable the rapid expansion of deep geothermal energy which has the potential to decarbonise the heat supply in the country.

In a position paper published last week, the organisations are urging politicians to create the necessary framework conditions that would enable Germany to tap its huge geothermal potential. The new legislation should provide for accelerated approval procedures for deep geothermal projects, easier collection of geological data and the introduction of a state risk protection mechanism.

Deep geothermal power in Germany is estimated to have the potential to produce between 118 TWh and 300 TWh per year which could cover up to a quarter of Germany's overall heat consumption of 1,300 TWh annually.

The group of organisations includes the German Energy Efficiency Association for Heating, Cooling and CHP (AGFW), the Federal Association for Renewable Energy (BEE), the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the Federal Geothermal Association (BVG) and the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU).

Green district heating is the catalyst for achieving climate goals in cities and geothermal energy plays a key role in this process, said AGFW's deputy managing director John Miller.

However, the expansion of geothermal power often gets stuck in planning and bureaucracy and this is why administrative and approval procedures must be accelerated and new, implementation-oriented instruments for a nationwide expansion should be introduced, according to Miller.

Commenting on the issue, Mark Helfrich, energy policy spokesman for the parliamentary group of the Christian Democrats, said that geothermal energy has the potential to become a game changer in Germany's heat transition as it contributes to reducing geopolitical dependence but its huge potential was completely ignored in the legislative packages passed by the government earlier this year.

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