Geothermania

Last week we informed about the first meeting of future’s geoEnergia technology platform’s working group. Let’s look at the event closer.

The first working meeting of the group took place on 24th June 2010 in Bratislava with the aim of creating the National Technology Platform geoEnergia. The meeting was attended by 15 participants from various institutions, e.g. representatives from universities and state administration, scientific and research SMEs, industrial companies and geothermal project developers. The whole working session was divided into a number of blocks, whereas each focused on a specific topic related to geothermal energy.

The first block was devoted to an overview of the potential of geothermal energy, its positions vis-à-vis other renewable sources, realized projects, research and development on a global scale:

The outlook for year 2030 with regard to electricity consumption is 31.8 trillion kWh, which is twice as much if compared to 2005. Currently renewable energy sources account for less than 7% of the whole energy mix, which is untenable under the above mentioned scenario. The three main advantages of geothermal energy are: it is a base-load energy able to guarantee state’s strategic security; secondly, the fuel price is zero, because there no fuel is needed; thirdly, geothermal energy produces zero CO2 emissions, therefore it can save emission quotas.

The potential of geothermal energy in Slovakia is estimated at 5.538 MW, but currently only 2,3% of the whole potential is being used.

After evaluating the current global position of geothermal energy, the participants focused on the already existing European and national technological platforms, their influence and outcomes. The examples were the German or the Spanish platform, or the European RHC-ETP or Geolec.

The biggest part of the meeting was dedicated to Slovakia and the success stories of Slovak integration into international projects as Secricom or Artemisia. The participants then focused on the platform geoEnergia. Particularly on issues as establishing the whole working mechanism of geoEnergia, identification of the technological needs, legislative and other barriers, the potential of geothermal energy in Slovakia etc.

According to the project developers (e.g. Slovgeoterm), Slovakia has above-average geothermal conditions. Most of the projects in Slovakia focus on heating, however a lack of state support is the biggest barrier for further development of the geothermal sector. On the other hand, representatives from the research sector pointed out to the needs of creating cooperation with the industry, other SMEs as well as defining long-term strategic synergetic goals.

Official representatives of Slovak government from both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Economy highly welcomed the idea of creating the technological platform and expressed their further support and desire to intensify activities that would lead to the establishment of geoEnergia.

The next step in our plan is to conduct a series of meetings between the potential members of geoEnergia, communicating with partners in the EU in order to gain experience and best practices. The official kick-off of the national technological platform geoEnergia is planned for September or October later this year.

Due to focusing of geoEnergia primarly on Slovak stakeholders, we attach more detailed information on this link in Slovak. At the same time, some photos from the first workshop you would find on our Facebook fan page.

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