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Germany to target geothermal energy

Germany to target geothermal energy

Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Photo credit: Reuters / Annegret Hilse.

By Anders Lorenzen

As Germany is struggling to reduce its emissions following its phaseout of nuclear power, the government are targeting another low-carbon energy source; geothermal energy.

This week, the country’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that deep geothermal energy had great potential for heat generation in Germany, as Berlin aims to phase out fossil fuels in its heating system.

Germany is home to one of Europe’s biggest geothermal reserves, which have been largely untapped but surging energy prices last year triggered new interest in the renewable energy source, with big municipal utilities and German and international fossil fuel companies exploring possible investments in the country.

Deep geothermal

With “deep” geothermal energy, heat is extracted from geothermal reservoirs at depths greater than 400 metres.

Offering more details about the government’s ambition Shcoolz said: “Our goal is to tap as much geothermal energy as possible by 2030.”

The German capital of Berlin aims to expand geothermal energy generation so it could feed 10 times as much energy into the heating network as it does today by 2030, Scholz said, adding that the number of geothermal power stations will rise to 54 from 42 in the future.

“Deep geothermal energy is of particular interest to our communities and their heat supply,” the leader of the Social Democrats said.

The geothermal energy sector in Europe’s biggest economy has been calling for a law to expand the energy source’s potential and remove many obstacles, including local opposition against drilling and low government subsidies.

Geothermal energy could cover more than a quarter of Germany‘s annual heat demand with a production potential of over 300 terawatt hours, a study by Fraunhofer Institute showed last year.

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