Thursday, December 17, 2015

Germany: Deep Geothermal Energy Holds No Uncontrollable Risks for the Environment - Report

Deep geothermal energy: environmental risks can be controlled (Umwelt Bundesamt)

Groundwater not at risk – seismic monitoring now standard

Deep geothermal energy holds no uncontrollable risks for the environment in Germany. These are the findings of a study done by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) on the basis of an administrative agreement with the German Environment Agency (UBA-Umwelt Bundesamt)

Deep geothermal energy originates from depths of 2,000 meters and more, where temperatures are higher than 60 degrees Celsius. In order to use this geothermal heat it is sometimes necessary to inject water at high pressure into those deep rock layers. This creates flow paths for the subsequent water circulation at the geothermal power plant. The method does not apply any materials which jeopardize the groundwater. The only exception is limestone, where diluted acids are sometimes applied, albeit in an environmentally compatible way. There is no risk from seismic activity in controlled processes.