Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Geothermal Country Notes
Germany does not possess high-enthalpy steam reservoirs. Its geothermal resources are located in the North German sedimentary basin, the Molasse Basin in southern Germany and along the Rhine graben.
Nevertheless, the country's geothermal resource has played a role in Germany's energy supply in recent years. By end-2004 total installed capacity for direct thermal use was 505 MWt, of which 80% was derived from 30 000 decentralised heat pumps (estimated to represent in the region of 400 MWt) and the remaining 20% from 30 centralised systems (of which, 3% was attributable to individual space heating; 86% to district heating and 11% to bathing and swimming).
Germany's 2000 Renewable Energy Act (EEG) was revised in August 2004 and it is expected that the increase in remuneration for the feed-in allowance from €0.089 to 0.15 per kWh for geothermal energy will lead to greater development than hitherto. The first German geothermal power plant (230 kWe) was inaugurated at Neustadt-Glewe in November 2003 to provide electricity for 500 households.
The Geothermische Vereinigung (GtV) is promoting the installation of the 1 GWe Programme from enhanced geothermal systems (for example, HDR) and deep hydrothermal resources.
Already there are two power plants using HDR in development: Groß Schönebeck and Bad Urach, and plans for converting the heat of deep hot aquifers to power at Offenbach, Speyer, Bruchsal and Unterhaching. These projects are being supported by the Federal Government's Zip-Programme (Zukunfts-Investitions-Programm).
In the period 2005-2010 it is expected that 15 projects will come to fruition, providing an additional 126 MWt of thermal capacity and 18 MWe of electric power.