Monday, April 24, 2017

Belgium: Government Provides Guarantee Scheme for Deep Geothermal Drilling

Companies encouraged to explore geothermal energy (Flanders Today)

Flanders’ energy minister hopes to boost the geothermal sector with a guarantee scheme for companies that invest in deep geothermal energy projects.

Drilling for deep geothermal energy requires major investment, with significant risk that it will generate less energy than hoped for as there is still a lack of detailed knowledge about the local subsurface. “With the guarantee scheme, we hope to convince companies to invest and to facilitate a breakthrough of deep geothermal energy in Flanders,” energy minister Bart Tommelein said.

Companies that want to drill in deep earth layers can submit a dossier to the government. If it turns out after drilling that the estimated energy production is not achieved, the government will pay back certain costs. The companies contribute to the scheme by paying a premium.

Until now, only the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (Vito) has carried out a trial project on deep geothermal energy in Flanders, with promising results. The Kempen region, in the north of Antwerp and Limburg, is the most attractive area for drilling because the hardest layers of rock are deeper there than elsewhere.