Tue, 04 August, 2020
The Insheim geothermal operation, one of the three demonstration sites in GEOPRO, is representative for fluid problems in mid-enthalpy and EGS systems in the Upper Rhinegraben area that has high-salinity geothermal fluids with significant dissolved CO2. As the project enters its fourth quarter, Joerg Uhde, CEO Pfalzwerke geofuture GmbH and a key stakeholder, talks about the rise in exploitation of geothermal energy in the Munich basin and how projects such as GEOPRO are enormously important to promote its sustainable development.
About Joerg Uhde
I am a mining engineer and a passionate geothermalist with almost two decades of professional geothermal experience.
Can u tell us about the uptake of geothermal energy/geothermal energy market in Germany?
Due to impressive successes in in the Munich basin where geothermal power has become the dominant energy source for district heating the market will continue to perform dynamically both in the Bavarian Molasse and the Rhine Graben. In the latter region there are exceptionally favourable conditions due to a high geothermal gradient and a comparatively high concentration of lithium and other rare earth metals in the geothermal brines. Exploitation of these heavily demanded elements might even open up new opportunities for geothermal projects.
Do you see any change in market due to the pandemic? How did it affect your company?
Geothermal project development is largely decentralized and dominated by medium-sized players and only a few larger companies. In this field the COVID 19 - regulations were according to my impression well received. We responded rapidly and resolutely to this altered situation with a comprehensive programme for digitizing our processes and a strict isolation of the geothermal power plant.
Do you see geothermal energy as part of the COVID-19 post recovery package?
The provision of considerable finance allow for targeted public investment, like the development and the extension of district heating networks. This necessary infrastructural work is required for further CHP geothermal projects.
What are the big benefits of projects like GEOPRO? Do you think projects like GEOPRO can drive the future of geothermal energy?
We are proud to be an official partner of the GEOPRO project which will lead to a far better understanding of our very complex properties of the geothermal brine. Furthermore, the communication on knowledge transfer between Universities and businesses is an important basis both side will benefit from permanently.
GEOPRO and other comparable projects are enormously important to promote sustainable development of geothermal energy.
Joerg Uhde, CEO, Pfalzwerke geofuture GmbH