During a speech at the European Workshop on geothermal energy focused on urban areas, European Union (EU) Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger said that, ”The development of geothermal energy should be encouraged.” The European geothermal energy industry came out in support of the Commissioner urging decision makers to pay more attention to the potential role of geothermal energy in heating and cooling applications.
The event was held last week in Brussels to focus on the role geothermal energy can play as part of Europe’s renewable energy mix. If properly encouraged, the geothermal energy industry says geothermal can provide continuously provide electricity, heating and cooling. Geothermal energy is also advantages because underground thermal storage systems can be developed that are well suited to the concept of a smart city.
However, the geothermal industry, now more than ever, is in need “of a clear regulatory framework for investing in new equipment, such as drilling,” said Philippe Dumas, director at the Council of European Geothermal (EGEC – European Geothermal Energy Council). “And that is why we are asking for new binding targets for renewable energy beyond 2020. “
Dumas also noted that “policy makers, local authorities and utilities have become more aware of the range of the geothermal resource and their possible applications.”
The EU is currently working on an internal report on renewable energy so the EGEC took the opportunity to urge the them to ensure greater transparency in relation to the costs of each energy technology. The EGEC also asked the EU to evaluate the key bottlenecks for the further development of the geothermal sector.