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EGEC Newsletter April 2015
The voice of the Geothermal Sector in Europe
Dear members of EGEC,
challenges and opportunities that lay ahead, for countries
in all stages of this process. A report from this conference
is inside this newsletter.
dear readers of this newsletter,
EGEC staff, lead by Head of Policy and Regulation Luca
Angelino, have prepared a study with the intention for
an action plan for fuel switch in Europe. In the light of
the process for an Energy Union, considering issues
of energy security and climate protection, this study
highlights the role that flexible renewable electricity
production and heating and cooling from renewables
need to play to make a “Resilient Energy Union” a success
– and geothermal energy as a keystone in this process.
The study is available on the EGEC website.
In April 2015, Melbourne
was the geothermal world
capital, where about 1600
participants gathered for the
World Geothermal Congress
(WGC 2015). The WGC, held
every five years, is the most
important global event for the geothermal sector, and
the opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved,
and to learn of the latest scientific development and
technological innovation. With WGC 2015 being staged
on the other side of our energetic planet, I, alas, could
not arrange to be there in person to listen and see.
However, the proceedings of WGC 2015 are here to read,
and will be the basic documentation for the next five
years. And EGEC staff was in Melbourne, to represent
the European geothermal industry, and to report back
on what happened, what was presented, which news
emerged from speeches and discussions. We have some
information in this newsletter, and more to come in the
members’ corner and other reports.
And finally, it is of utmost pleasure for me to announce
the date and venue for the next European Geothermal
Congress, EGC 2016. This next edition in the series of
European Geothermal Congresses, following the highly
successful EGC 2013 in Pisa, will be held in Strasbourg,
France, in the week 19-24 September 2016. I am
extremely grateful to our main sponsor, Electricité de
Strasbourg (Groupe ES), for their support enabling us
to start the process of organising EGC 2016, and to our
partners, traditionally the IGA European Regional Branch,
plus the relevant
national Geothermal
Association, in this
case the French AFPG.
Look out for further
information, as we will
soon issue the official
first announcement for
EGC 2016!
In the last week of March, I had the opportunity to attend
an international energy conference a bit closer, in Berlin.
The German government had invited for a conference,
10 years after “Renewables 2004” in Bonn (the first
renewable energy conference on governmental level).
The “Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue” was held on 2627 March 2015 in the premises of the German Federal
Foreign Office, under the slogan “Towards a global
Energiewende”. Representatives of 60 countries, foreign
ministers and ministers of energy as well as high-level
representatives from business, science, administration
and civil society, discussed the experiences made in
changing to a sustainable, clean energy future, based
on energy efficiency and renewable energy – and the
I wish you an interesting read,
Burkhard Sanner
A resilient Energy Union: Solution lies in
fuel switch to renewables in the heating
and electricity sectors.
heating and cooling.
Beyond 2020, existing
measures should
be strengthened,
existing building
EGEC publishes new action plan
The EU’s energy security is at risk. Europe is hugely
dependent on fossil fuel imports, in particular on the
natural gas used to cover its extensive heating demand
With the increasing deployment of variable renewables,
the EU electrical system requires more flexible
generation. Natural gas as backup must be discarded:
the more it is used, the more the EU is dependent on
energy imports, and the more it moves away from
achieving energy security.
With the new Energy Union, the only viable option to
address this challenge is to improve energy efficiency
and to replace fossil fuel consumption and imports with
stable renewable energy sources in the heating and
electricity sectors. Energy efficiency is not sufficient to
solve such a long-standing structural problem.
Phase-out subsidies to fossil fuels in both heating
and electricity sectors. Price carbon and other
emissions in non-ETS sectors.
Mobilise existing Structural and Investment Funds
as well as the new European Fund for Strategic
Investments to finance RES for heating and cooling
and flexible RES technologies.
Implement the directives on energy efficiency and on
the energy performance of buildings, and ensuring
consistency with the RES directive regarding
In the upcoming revision of EU Regulation on
security of gas supply, Member States should be
required, as part of their Preventative Action Plan,
to establish a strategy to promote the switch from
gas to renewable energy sources.
Develop a European strategy to replace natural
gas in power plants, ensuring grid flexibility with
flexible renewable power plants (geothermal, etc.),
and mitigating system costs.
EU Parliament backs Juncker Plan: interinstitutional negotiations on track for
early adoption
On 20 April, EU Parliament committees for budget and
economic affairs adopted the Parliament’s position on
the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), also
known as the Juncker Plan. The committees, both in
charge of the file, have approved a mandate to start
negotiations with the Council, which started on 23 April,
straight away after Parliament’s decision.
Despite MEPs’ readiness to launch negotiations, this has
not been an easy journey. EU Parliament’s committees on
budget and economic affairs rejected plans to earmark
€5bn out of the €21bn guarantee to energy efficiency
projects. Nevertheless, some important amendments
have been put forward by the Parliament. In order to
protect existing EU investments in research, MEPs want
the EU Commission to find alternative resources from
the annual budget, notably to avoid using money from
the EU’s Horizon 2020 programmes. They also clearly
emphasised that eligible projects must have a higher
risk profile than those that could be financed by the
EIB. Finally, in view of ensuring transparency in project
allocation, MEPs supported a greater control of the
Parliament over the fund management.
The EGEC Market Report 2013/2014:
The only full assessment of the entire
geothermal sector
€250 | Free for EGEC members.
Click here to find out more
Click here to read EGEC Action Plan
Such a path requires political courage and structural
reforms in the years to come. In order to prepare the
ground, EGEC publishes today an action plan towards
“Fuel switch to renewables in the heating and electricity
sectors”. This paper provides case studies of how to
switch fuel with different geothermal technologies and
puts forward key recommendations to build a resilient
Energy Union, including:
Photo: © European Union, 2015
If negotiating teams of the Council and the Parliament
are able to keep up with the pace and find an agreement
soon, the EU Parliament is expected to adopt the Juncker
Plan in plenary next June, and the fund is foreseen to
start by mid-2015.
Global gathering celebrates the
continuing success story of global
growth in both geothermal power
generation and heat production
The direct use of geothermal has seen a massive 45%
growth since 2010, with installed capacity now reaching
70,330 MWth spread across 82 countries, up from 48,500
MWth five years ago. The utilisation of geothermal energy
for direct use of heat has helped prevent emissions of
148 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
The largest gathering of the global geothermal
community, the World Geothermal Congress 2015,
highlights the sector’s continuing growth and its
important contribution to the movement towards a
sustainable energy future.
Slightly more than half of the direct use globally
comes from Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP), with
balneology accounting for 20%, and space heating for
15% (89% of this is used for district heating). There has
been a significant increase in the number of countries
making use of GSHP, from 26 in 2010 to 48 in 2014; the
leading countries in terms of installed capacity are, in
descending order, the USA, China, Sweden, Germany,
and France. This has also helped create employment,
with 34,000 person years now spent in 52 countries
Delegates heard that Europe has huge potential
for both power and heat, is the birthplace of the
technology, and is still one of the world leaders in
terms of expertise. In spite of this, the market is
merely growing steadily instead of booming, whilst
Europe’s neighbours forge ahead.
The World Geothermal Congress 2015 concluded
today in Melbourne, Australia. Held every five years,
the event is the largest and most important gathering
of the global geothermal community. More than 1,600
participants are attending a number of short courses,
technical presentations, side events, and an extensive
exhibition of geothermal companies and organisations
from around the world. The event is co-hosted by New
Zealand, where a number of short courses and field trips
to geothermal plants will take place next week.
In Europe, where 50% of energy consumption is for heat,
concerns about gas and security of supply are growing.
The search for a local, secure, and steady supply of
energy is leading to an increased interest in geothermal
heating and cooling, particularly geothermal district
heating, which has excellent potential in Central and
Eastern Europe and is also being investigated in nontraditional areas. Barriers such as a lack of appropriate
financing models and unfair competition with fossil
fuels have held back development in the past, but this
situation is improving.
At the congress a global update on geothermal
installations and development was provided both on
power generation and the direct use of heat for the
period of 2010 to 2015.
The event would like to thank gold sponsors Energy
Development Corporation, Exergy, and Ormat, its silver
sponsor Contact Energy and the sponsor of the poster
gallery GNS Science.
The global geothermal power market continues to grow.
Today, there is an installed power generation capacity of
12,635 MW, a figure that has grown by 16% over a 5-year
period. It is expected that increase will continue, with
installed power generation capacity reaching 21,400 MW
in 2020. The main region for geothermal power is Asia &
Pacific, with Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand
in the forefront. This is followed by North America.
Download press release
French Minister Ségolène Royal
launches GEODEEP Fund to support the
development of the deep geothermal
Countries which have seen the most growth in recent
years are Kenya, which has added up to 400 MW in
capacity, followed by Turkey, adding 306 MW, and New
Zealand, which has added an additional 234 MW.
On Monday 30, French Minister Ségolène Royal, in
charge of energy affairs, publicly announced the creation
of GEODEEP, a new 50-million Euro risk insurance fund
dedicated to deep geothermal energy. The fund aims
to protect project operators against the geological
risk faced during the exploration and exploitation
phases. Jointly financed by ADEME (a public institution
managed by the Ministry), La Caisse des Dépôts (a public
investment bank), and by private operators, GEODEEP
will compensate project operators in case they fail to find
economically sustainable geothermal resource.
“There is great potential right across Europe for
Geothermal power production, which is baseload and
flexible” Said Philippe Dumas, secretary general of the
European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) “Often, this
potential, and the role for geothermal in balancing the
grid goes unrecognised. Projects have also struggled
due to lack of financial support and policy measures.”
EGEC warmly welcomes this new support scheme for
geothermal energy in France. GEODEEP will indeed
facilitate project operators’ investment decisions by
significantly reducing the risk profile of deep geothermal
projects. The fund is also expected to ensure the opening
of ten new deep geothermal plants, and the creation of
more than 800 new jobs. By launching GEODEEP, the
French government clearly demonstrates its commitment
to foster the development of renewables and proves the
key role that geothermal plays in achieving the energy
transition towards a low-carbon economy.
has recently added its support to the facility, joining
the German Government and the EU infrastructure fund.
Press Release of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable
Development and Energy
The project (5.5 MWe), located in the Pyrénées
Atlantiques Region, has a budget in excess of EUR 80
5.5MW geothermal project in French
Pyrenees receives funding
A consortium led by FONROCHE GEOTHERMIE has been
selected by the French Energy Agencies (ADEME and
CGI) to receive funding for the deep, high temperature
geothermal energy project called FONGEOSEC.
RES supplies 80% of power in New
Zealand, Geothermal sees biggest
The first Berlin Energy Transition
Dialogue, 26.-27.3.2015
The conference motto “Towards a global Energiewende”
made use of the German word for energy transition
– literally “energy turnaround”. This German word is
becoming a universal denotation for a massive push
towards a new energy system, and might become
as international as “Rucksack” or “Kindergarten”. The
conference was attended by representatives of 60
countries, foreign ministers and ministers of energy as
well as high-level representatives from business, science,
administration and civil society.
In 2014, 80% of the electricity generated in New
Zealand came from Renewables. Geothermal power
saw the largest growth of any technology (including
non-renewable), with 6,847 GWh produced over the
year. For the first time in forty years more power came
from geothermal than from natural gas, according to
the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Geothermal for cost efficient,
sustainable food production in
developing countries: New report from
Germany has started decades ago to seek for a clean
and sustainable energy future, and in recent years has
intensified the change from fossil and nuclear to new
forms of energy in a process called “Energiewende”; or, as
Jeremy Rifkin phrased it in his speech at the conference,
“Germany is embarking on a bold new journey to
transform its energy regime and usher-in a new economic
paradigm.“ In fact, Germany is on that journey since quite
some time, seeing periods of progress and optimism,
times of political slow-down and outright obstruction
(old energy empires attempted to strike back), but all the
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United
Nations has published a new report “Uses of geothermal
energy in Food and Agriculture” which notes that much
of the food waste in developing countries is due to a lack
of affordable energy for food processing. Geothermal
can provide a solution which addresses both cost and
environmental impacts of food production, the report
states. “Geothermal energy for agriculture can be done
even at small-scales and can significantly contribute
to income generation, providing employment and
improving food and nutrition security in developing
countries,” said Divine Njie, AGS Deputy Director.
Africa: Geothermal Risk Mitigation
Facility (GMRF)- Results of Prequalification phase
It has been announced that eleven projects have prequalified for the facility, which is implemented by KfW
and the African Union Commission. Of the eleven
projects, seven were surface studies and four were
drilling programmes.
The UK’s Department for International Development
During the opening session of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue on 26 March 2015, in the “World Hall” of the German Federal
Foreign Office. Photo: © M. Hastedt & Y. Schönberger
Three of the top-level speakers at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue on 26 March 2015 (from left): German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, and IRENA Secretary General Adnan Amin. Photo: © M. Hastedt
& Y. Schönberger
time progressing towards transformation of the whole
energy regime of the country.
And Jeremy Rifkin mentioned that for geothermal
energy, the earth is not sending a bill…
A keystone of this process was, and still is, the feedin tariff for renewable electricity as to the Renewable
Energy Act, EEG. The EEG, the first version entering into
force in April 2000, just had its 15th anniversary; but even
before that date, legislation granting a feed-in-tariff was
in place. The term “Energiewende”, however, is much
younger. It was coined in the time after the Fukushima
disaster in March 2011, and makes reference also to the
process of change in Eastern Germany after the end of
GDR, often called “Wende” in German.
The first round of parallel sessions in the afternoon
focussed on the:
The conference discussed the experiences made in
changing to a sustainable, clean energy future, based
on energy efficiency and renewable energy – and
the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead, for
countries in all stages of this process. Of course, the
German example was omnipresent, but experiences
from many other countries shed light on problems and
chances worldwide.
The second round of parallel sessions completed the
afternoon, with the topics:
In the opening session in Berlin on 26.3.2015, German
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier touted the
energy transition in Germany the “German Man-to-theMoon Project”. And indeed, the shear size of the task
is as big and as difficult as what J.F. Kennedy pledged
in 1962. Personally I believe that creating a new and
sustainable energy supply for a country, a continent, and
eventually a whole planet, is more important for human
wellbeing than winning the “Space Race” or exploring
our companion in space.
Key Role of Political Frameworks: Defining the Right
Incentive Scheme;
Market and System Integration of Variable Renewable
Power Generation;
Centralized vs. Decentralized Energy Transition.
Key Role of Financing: How to attract;
Private and Public Investments Grid Integration, Grid
Management and Grid Development;
Economic Value Creation, Sustainable Growth and
The second day was opened by the German Federal
Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks,
focussing on the role of the energy transition for climate
protection. Then a panel of ministers from Europe and
overseas presented and discussed renewable energy
flagship projects, and one of the parallel sessions
thereafter focussed on Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Heating and Cooling.
A very well organised event, with highly interested (and
highly interesting) audience, and a good opportunity to
share experiences and expectations.
Also in the opening session, Martin Viessmann, owner
of the well-known factory for heating equipment, did
put the heating sector in centre stage, and highlighted
the importance of energy efficiency and renewable
energy for heating and cooling. Not only in his speech
geothermal energy was present, but also in many others
– meanwhile it is among the accepted energy sources.
What are the 10 most wanted
profiles in the Geothermal
The know RES project is conducting a survey of
the Geothermal industry in order to identify the
sectors most sought after profiles.
Whether your firm is currently recruiting,
planning to do so in the future or if you are
simply curious to learn what expertise are
in demand in the geothermal sector, please
take 5 minutes to fill out this survey and share
your view on the geothermal job market.
About KnowRES
KnowRES is creating an online platform to
provide job intelligence to industry, candidates, Kindly note that taking part in the survey will
allow your firm to participate in free matchand academic and training institutions.
making events and free recruitment advisory
The project is also performing an analysis of the services on a voluntary basis.
skills needed by the industry to ensure that the
provided education and training courses are
Thank you in advance for your
tailor-made to the sectors’ needs.
valuable input
Within the framework of KnowRES EGEC will organise a
Georthermal Career Day
in February 2016
Click here to complete the short survey
ReGeoCities now in its final semester
The ReGeoCities project is now in its final semester.
The next planned activities include:
• the launch of a promotional campaign in May about geothermal heat pumps;
• the finalisation of factsheets and other communication materials;
• the conclusion of the training courses and of their training materials;
• the organisation of a final workshop to be held in June 2015.
The final workshop will be held during
the EU Sustainable Energy Week. More
information and details to follow soon.
Certificate of Advanced Studies: Exploration and Development of Deep Geothermal
In Switzerland and Europe, the number of specialists in deep geothermal systems is very limited. This Certificate
of Advanced Studies (CAS DEEGEOSYS) is dedicated to train scientists and engineers in several fields of applied
geothermics. They will be capable of organising and leading exploration and development projects of deep geothermal
resources (deep aquifers and Enhanced Geothermal Systems).
The yearlong course, organised by the Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics CHYN, University of Neuchâtel
includes four one week long modules separated by a two month break. Modules include Geothermics and Geophysics,
Geochemistry and Hydrochemistry, Drilling and Logging, and Reservoir Evaluation and Production.
The 3rd Edition of this course will begin in 2015. More information is available at
GeoPower Global Congress
The 7th annual GeoPower Global Congress will take place in Istanbul, on 1-3 December 2015. It is a unique
opportunity for developers, investors and other key stakeholders to share specific technical, financial and legislative
expertise for optimising the development of
current and future geothermal power and heat
projects worldwide.
Over 150 industry experts will descend on
Istanbul this December to discuss overcoming
the core challenges facing projects
development during two full congress days including a Turkey focus stream on day one.
For more details please visit or email
19 - 24
September 2016
Strasbourg, France
Events Calendar
Internationaler Geothermie-Kongress
21 May 2015
St. Gallen,
Geothermal Energy Days: How to Use
this Source of Clean Energy at Regional level?
21-24 May 2015
Vojvodina (SRB)
EU Sustainable Energy Week
15-19 June 2015
Brussels, Belgium
CAS DEEGEOSYS - Exploration &
Development of Deep Geothermal
7 September
2015 - 30 May
Brussels Sustainable Development
Summit 2015
19-20 October
Brussels, Belgium
GeoPower Global Congres
1-3 December
Istanbul, Turkey
The European Geothermal Energy Council
is the voice of the Geothermal Industry in Europe.
To Find out more visit
EGEC is a non-profit membership organisation whose sole aim is the promotion of the geothermal industry. It
supports its members by
lobbying on their behalf.
More than 130 members from 28 countries (including private companies, national associations, consultants,
research centres, geological surveys, and public authorities) make EGEC a strong and powerful network,
uniting and representing the entire sector.