11 Aug 2022

With Its Geothermal Plans Local Utilities in Germany Eye Lithium Extraction

11 Aug 2022  by   

City of Speyer, Germany (source: flickr/ Daniel Sancho, creative commons)

As part of their geothermal heating development plans, two local utilities in Germany's Upper-Rhine region have also secured a Lithium exploration permit.

Reported locally, the public utility of the city of Speyer and colleagues from nearby Schifferstadt, both in the Upper Rhine region of Germany, are eyeing geothermal energy as option to green their district heating. want to make their district heating greener using geothermal energy. Now both utilities have also secured required permits for the potential extraction of Lithium.

We previously reported on the city of Speyer and its Schifferstadt colleagues’ geothermal ambitions.

The exploration field for lithium with the name “Materia” corresponds to the “Rhineland-Palatinate” area, for which the public utility company already has an exploration permit for geothermal development from the State Office for Geology and Mining. Now, an exploration application for lithium has also been secured.

“Before drilling activities for geothermal resources can be commissioned, a well-founded research of the geological underground structure down to several kilometers depth is required,” explains Gerd Baumann, deputy works manager of Stadtwerke Schifferstadt. This is a mandatory prerequisite for determining the best drilling targets, which enable the safe and highest possible production of thermal water. “Existing geological data has currently been released by the State Office for Geology and Mining (LGB). The evaluation is currently being carried out by our experts,” Baumann continues.

Based on this, geologists and geophysicists would plan further exploration of the underground and decide whether additional data collection through measurements would have to be carried out. “All investigations apply equally to the generation of heat and electricity as well as to the extraction of lithium,” says Wolfgang Bühring, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Speyer, adding: “The possible locations should be fixed by summer 2023.”

In order to promote geothermal energy and lithium, the two municipal utilities are planning to set up a joint project company.


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