What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy refers to the source of energy which rises from the molten mass within the earth's core. This energy heats rock strata, and subsequently the water containing layers within the earths crust. Ever since ancient times, geothermal energy has been used for thermal baths. With today's technology geothermal energy can now be used for the generation of electricity, as well as thermal heat.
Geothermal power stations have an available rate of operation in excess of 95%. The produced energy, in the form of electricity and thermal heat, is capable of providing a constant minimum requirement base-load. In addition, geothermal energy is independent of seasonal and weather variations as wind and sun. This makes it the only energy source truly independent of external natural variables, and without the requirement of fossil fuels. Thus, geothermal energy combines all the advantages of renewable energy, such as energy independence with all the advantages of the traditional fossil fuels, such as constant available base-load.
What makes geothermal energy in Germany attractive?
- Geothermal energy has potential with existing technology to cover 50% of Germany’s electricity requirement
- The generation of electricity is under-pinned by a guaranteed price and up-take for 20 years
- Attractive government sponsored investment subsidies are available
- Growing awareness of end-users concerning alternative and renewable energy sources
- System suppliers are global technology-leaders
- Good geological conditions exist for the exploitation of geothermal energy, especially in the south and north of Germany
- Local value chain and energy independence
- Higher living quality through improved location factors