Page 56 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
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56  Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation


Leading a Revolution in
Deep Geothermal Innovation

By Valentina Pinzuti, European Geothermal Energy Council

AEuropean Technology                       in Europe amounts to around 2.2 GWe,        EU’s Research and Innovation strategy
               and Innovation platform     of which 0.95 GWe is in the EU, and it      for coming years, the European
               (ETIP) working on the       is expected to reach 3.5 GWe in 2018,       Commission has recognised the
               development of deep         mainly thanks to the very promising         European Technology and Innovation
geothermal energy in Europe has            Turkish market.                             Platforms (ETIPs) as an important
recently been established in the                                                       tool to strengthen cooperation with
framework of the European Strategic        The relevant resources, though, are far     Stakeholders.
Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan).         from being fully developed.
Made up of stakeholders from industry,                                                 It is in this framework that the
research and policy, the overarching       Recent modelling results by the JRC-        geothermal sector created, in March
objective of the new Deep Geothermal       EU-TIMES model predict geothermal           2016, a European Technology
ETIP is to identify the ways in which      power production of 540 TWh in 2050         and Innovation Platform on Deep
new technologies and methods will          under a long term decarbonisation           Geothermal, which was then officially
shape the future of geothermal and         scenario. This would mean that              recognised by the European
how they can be cost-effectively           geothermal power could provide 12.5         Commission, DG RTD, as an ETIP in
bought to market, allowing more            % of the EU electricity demand while        July 2016.
citizens to benefit from this renewable,   exploiting about 20 % of the available
stable resource.                           geothermal technical potential. This        The Deep Geothermal ETIP is an
                                           market share might be increased             open stakeholder group, including
THE STATUS OF DEEP GEOTHERMAL              significantly if cost reductions            representatives from industry,
Geothermal energy is a valuable            associated with drilling will be realised.  academia, research centres, and
and local source of energy that can                                                    sectoral associations, covering the
cost-effectively provide base- load/       Geothermal energy has an excellent          entire deep geothermal energy
dispatchable electricity, heat or a        potential in Europe, and in a number        exploration, production and utilisation
combination of both. It has great          of NREAP (National Renewable Energy         value chain. Its mission is to provide a
potential as a renewable source, not       Action Plan) there are ambitious,           framework for stakeholders to define
only in Europe but also globally, and      yet far to be reached, targets for it.      and implement an innovation strategy
in particular in some developing           Recent technological developments           to increase the use of geothermal and
countries. Its potential is inexhaustible  have made it possible to cost-              to foster the growth and the market
in human terms, comparable to that of      effectively produce electricity from        uptake of the relevant European
the sun.                                   geothermal energy with fluids at            industries.
                                           lower temperatures and there is an
Deep geothermal energy, which can          increasing awareness of the potential       The purpose of the platform is to
be directly used as heat or converted      of geothermal heat, but in order to         enable deep geothermal technology,
into electricity, is nowadays directly     allow geothermal energy to fully meet       and in particular Enhanced
used, depending on its temperature, in     its potential in the renewable energy       Geothermal Systems (EGS), to
a number of sectors: from bathing and      mix it is necessary to tackle some          proliferate and move from the current
swimming to industry, agriculture and      issues to improve performance and           European R&D and pilot-sites to other
district heating, this latter being the    reduce costs, and make widespread           European countries and different
most promising sector for geothermal       implementation possible.                    geological situations. The primary
heat. In Europe there are 257                                                          objective is overall cost reduction,
geothermal district heating systems,       DEEP GEOTHERMAL ETIP                        including social, environmental and
with total installed capacity of 4.6       The European Commission’s Energy            technological costs.
GWth (EGEC, Market Report 2015).           Union strategy, adopted in February
                                           2015, dedicates one of its five             These goals are addressed by the
According to the EGEC Market Report        dimensions to research, innovation          strategic targets of the Declaration of
Update, in 2015 the installed capacity     and competitiveness. Under the              Intent on Deep Geothermal Energy,
for geothermal electricity generation      integrated SET-Plan, which defines the      adopted in September 2016, which are:

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