09 Apr 2024

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Publishes Geothermal Energy Master Plan

09 Apr 2024  by thinkgeoenergy   

Masterplan Geothermie for North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (source: State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia)
The State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany has published a Geothermal Energy Master Plan that outlines a strategy for the development of geothermal potential in the region in the coming years. The Master Plan was presented in an event by the Economics and Climate Protection Minister Mona Neubaur.

The Master Plan sets a target of geothermal energy accounting for 15 to 20 percent of the heat demand in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) by 2045. This is equivalent to 24.1 to 33.1 TWh of geothermal heat generation. The strategy recognizes that medium-deep to deep geothermal energy is currently at a low rate of utilization because of the associated high discovery risks and costs of drilling.

Thus, reducing investment risk to further explore deeper geothermal resources is one of the main measures proposed by the Master Plan. In the field of near-surface geothermal energy, the strategy focuses more on strengthening the already established approaches and taking additional measures to ensure its increased deployment in the coming years.

A major part of the strategy is to improve the data situation on the availability of geothermal energy in North Rhine-Westphalia by 2028, as well as an instrument at NRW.Bank to hedge the so-called exploration risk.

“We in North Rhine-Westphalia think outside the box and are open to technology and efficient. There is a treasure beneath our feet – an inexhaustible and climate-neutral energy source that we still do not use enough of today. With the Geothermal Energy Master Plan for North Rhine-Westphalia, we are the first federal state to present a comprehensive strategy to quickly and safely exploit the enormous potential of geothermal energy,” said the Minister.

“By providing companies with precise information about the nature of the subsoil and assuming part of the investment risk, we are powerfully driving forward the market ramp-up of geothermal energy in North Rhine-Westphalia. Our goal: By 2045, we want to cover up to 20 percent of the heat requirement with geothermal energy in a climate-neutral manner.”

The following are the central measures of the Master Plan for deep geothermal energy:

Hedging discovery risk

Improve the databases

Expand state funding

Speed up the approval process

Increase acceptance

The following are the central measures for near-surface geothermal energy:

Counteract the shortage of skilled workers

Improve economic efficiency

Communicate benefits

Provide data

Simplify the legal framework


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