Geothermal in Germany

Installed capacity7.3MW

Production1.62ktoe per year

Germany’s hydrothermal resources, down to a depth of 5 000 m, are located in the North German Basin, the Molasse Basin in the south of the country and the Upper Rheingraben.

The hot dry rock (HDR) resource, at a depth of between 3 000 and 7 000 m, is thought to exist in the Crystalline Basement in the middle and south of the country, the Crystalline Basement in the Upper Rheingraben and the Rotliegend volcanites in the North German Basin.

An evaluation of the maximum recoverable potential for electricity generation from HDR technology has been estimated at 8 620 EJ and 90 EJ from hydrothermal resources. The first German geothermal power plant (230kWe) was inaugurated at Neustadt-Glewe in November 2003 to provide electricity for 500 households and a second 3 MWe plant began operating in Landau in 2007. A third 3.4 MWe plant at Unterhaching first generated heat during 2007 and then electricity in late 2008.

Most of the district heating plants are located in the Northern German Basin, the Molasse Basin in Southern Germany, or along the Upper Rhine Graben. Two geothermal power plants

at Neustadt-Glewe and Unterhaching also provide water for district heating.

In addition to these large installations, there are numerous small- and medium-size geothermal heat pump units located throughout the country. Under the prevailing economic and

political conditions, multiple or cascaded uses are employed to help improve the economic efficiency of the direct use. For this reason many installations combine district or space heating with greenhouses and thermal spas. No numbers are given for greenhouse heating.