The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) welcomes the key issues paper published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the consultation process it has initiated on the expansion of deep geothermal energy. "The paper is an important signal in the current energy supply situation," says Susanne Buiter, scientific director of the GFZ. "In the search for solutions for the future, politicians are now also naming the great potential of geothermal energy."
The key points paper describes goals and measures that are to lead to strategic expansion plans and concrete geothermal projects. "As a national Research Centre for Geosciences, we will be actively involved in the consultation process," adds Ingo Sass, head of the Geoenergy Section at the GFZ. "The GFZ operates industry-scale demonstration and research platforms in medium-depth and deep geothermal energy. From this experience, we know in which areas there is an urgent need for action: in a broad-based exploration campaign, in risk hedging measures and in the acceleration of licensing procedures, but also in demand-driven system integration."
In the "Deep Geothermal Roadmap for Germany (German only)" published in February 2022, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the GFZ, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the UFZ have already defined concrete demands for the expansion of deep geothermal energy and outlined the potentials and versatile utilisation technologies as well as the necessary research and development requirements. According to this, deep geothermal energy in Germany has a large consumer potential in urban areas. Seasonal underground storage will also play a special role in future energy systems for supplying heat to inner cities.
The GFZ is currently involved in more than 30 application projects with national and international partners, many of which involve cooperation with the energy supply industry. Within the framework of the Helmholtz initiative "Geotechnologies for a turning point in energy supply in Germany ", GFZ and KIT have already positioned themselves for scientific support of the roadmap with the GEOZeit project.