Industry & Innovative Sustainable Production

Growth & Sustainability

September 1 - 3 • 2014 • HILTON Antwerp

i-SUP2014 Newsletter -- August 2014 - Geothermal Energy

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On August 20 and 21, 2014, a delegation of 30 mayors and other politicians of Flanders, together with representatives of grid distributors EANDIS and Infrax visited deep geothermal energy projects near Munich, more specifically Unterhaching and Oberhaching. This field trip was organised by the EFRO project team "GEOTHERMIE 2020". This project studies the feasibility of geothermal energy for the production of electricity and heat in the Kempen, the north-eastern part of Flanders. In vue of the present discussion on the energy supply in Flanders next Winter, this visit certainly was a hot topic.

North-eastern part of Flanders (Kempen) suitable for deep geothermal energy production

The local project partners of "GEOTHERMIE 2020" aim at about 100 similar geothermal power plants in the North-eastern part of Flanders.

The advantages are abundant:

  • a continuous supply of about 450 MW electricity (without the disadvantage of the intermittent character of other renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy);
  • a direct supply of heat to households and industry thus avoiding CO2 emission (buildings are responsible for 1/3rd of the total CO2 emissions in Flanders)
  • a secure cost level as the price can be guaranteed over longer periods (decades) thanks to the sustainable production and the independence of natural gas, oil or coal;
  • once the geology (up to 4 km) is well-defined, a power plant of about 5 MWe can be operational within 2 years.

Secure and independent energy supply for Flanders

After the visit many of the participants were convinced of the potential of deep geothermal energy. Kris Van Dijck, Mayor of Dessel and Member of the Flemish Parliament: "Geothermal energy might well be the golden future for Flanders and the Kempen."

Jan Hendrickx, Manager of Chambre of Commerce Kempen: "Geothermal energy should become the driving force for the economic development of our region, an opportunity for our industry."

Kris Vreys, Manager Regional Development Fund IOK: "The study trip has convinced us of the potential of geothermal energy: sustainable, economical and secure. Let us join forces in order to proceed."

Sustainable energy in the spotlights at i-SUP

On September 1st, in the presence of Flanders Minister of Energy, Annemie Turtelboom, VITO opens the debate on the use of deep geothermal energy with Sir Richard Branson. This expert in innovative business concepts will share his vision on the economic potential geothermal energy can provide to Flanders (programme and registration see branson.vito.be).

On September 2 and 3, at the i-SUP conference, international experts explore the feasibility of deep geothermal energy and district heating networks as energy supply for Flanders (programme and registration i-sup.org/energy).

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