Geothermal test project moves ahead in Germany

By Mike Hayes31 August 2021

Technological advances give hope to ambitious deep-earth pipe system in Bavaria

A drilling rig on the site of the Eavor/Enex geothermal energy project in Geretsried, Bavaria. Image courtesy Enex

An ambitious geothermal project is moving ahead in the town of Geretsried in Bavaria, Germany.

The project involves the placement of a liquid-filled pipe system, within layers of hot rock, some 4.5km beneath the ground.

The liquid will be heated to a temperature of 120 degrees Celsius, before rising to the surface to provide energy for a surface power plant.

The project is the brainchild of Canadian technology company Eavor Technologies, which says it has upgraded its pilot Eavor-Loop system, following failed attempts to establish the test site in 2013 and 2017.

Enex Power Germany
The company recently formed a project development company with Enex Power Germany, with the aim of connecting its system to the grid, allowing it potentially provide power to the town of Geretsried.

Eavor’s Daniel Mölk said it proposed, following consultation with local residents, to commence drilling in 2022, to a depth of 4500m, before constructing four pipe networks and placing them deep into the rock.

Eavor believes the system could generate up to 8MW of electrical energy, at a cost of some €200 million.

The project is supported by the Oberland energy transition, a body with an aim of aiding the region move towards fossil-free fuel. The organisation has calculated that the proposed clean energy could save 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

With a test facility already in operation in Canada, Eavor Technologies believes a successful roll-out of the system in Germany could initiate a fundamental change in the production of thermal energy.

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