As the chair of the brand new Geothermal Energy working group, I have the honour to kick-off this new working group Before I get into the specifics, let me share with you why you should get excited about geothermal energy!
The biggest advantage of geothermal, compared to solar and wind, is its contribution to the reusable energy flow in the form of heat. Heating accounts for more than 40% of the total energy demand. This is more than the entire power sector! Yet, heating does often not rank high on the agenda in energy debates. This needs to change!
This is important to tap into natural resources in a sustainable way. In some regions of the world geothermal energy is right underneath your feet, such as the Peruvian Steam Vents [picture inset]. In other parts of the world, sustainable use of the earth´s heat for power generation or heating purposes is more complicated. It requires the application of specific exploration methods and drilling technology for sustainable extraction. Exploring deep geothermal energy is crucial for certain regions on the European continent. This pertains to the depths to which need to be drilled (between 5 and 7km) to reach the right temperatures (>180°C).
The Netherlands has the potential to lead this journey for deeper geothermal exploration, as the country has an outstanding subsurface data base deriving predominantly from the Oil & Gas industry. In addition, the Netherlands shows a strong will to further explore these deeper reservoirs for geothermal heat production.
Geothermal energy is set for growth but with a marginal 2% contribution to the overall renewable energy mix, it is underrepresented. To increase the visibility of geothermal energy, governmental policies and financial incentives need to be implemented for geothermal energy – and for this we need you! Together, with your help, we can further develop cases within this energy segment and elevate it to a level where geothermal energy is given the proper attention and support it needs. Let us increase the visibility of geothermal energy and start strengthening our activities both on- and offline.
Let me hear your thoughts on geothermal energy! Sign up for the next Oil & Gas Reinvented Community event on The Future Perspective of Energy Storage and Conversion on 29 June 2017. Sign up here and select the working group Geothermal Energy. Hope to see you on the 29th!
- Marit Brommer
Chair Geothermal Energy working group
Marit Brommer is the Executive Director of the International Geothermal Association (IGA). The IGA is a non-profit association providing its members a gateway and connection to the Global Geothermal Community. The organisation serves as an independent globally united voice for geothermal energy, funnelled through three major themes: (deep) geothermal for power and heat generation, direct uses of geothermal energy, and shallow geothermal heating and cooling systems. For more information, visit www.geothermal-energy.org
Picture: Steam vents (Aguas Calientes, Peru): Image courtesy of: Joe LaFleur