Geothermal energy has the main advantage to possibly offer energy 24 hours a day, either as electricity, heating or cooling. Because it does not depend on the weather, it is a very promising renewable energy source. On the other hand, the market uptake of deep geothermal energy production is limited due to negative public perception about possible negative environmental effects. GEOENVI aims at tackling these concerns and removing them, to influence decision makers and the perception of the general public.
The GEOENVI project focuses on six countries, and each country has a different deep geothermal potential, market maturity and geological setting, and therefore different public environmental concerns. These environmental concerns and market barriers are mapped and analysed. A methodology to perform Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of geothermal projects will be developed by harmonizing existing LCA regulations, and applied to case studies, VITO’s Balmatt site in Mol being one of them, to tackle bottlenecks at the local and regional level. To ensure the use of the developments and recommendations of the GEOENVI project and to influence the market uptake of deep geothermal energy, geothermal stakeholders and decision makers will be involved. The project will focus on implementing results through better environmental regulations on geothermal plants at the national level and by sharing results at the European level and fostering European market actors to adopt environmental assessment tools developed in the GEOENVI project.
EnergyVille/VITO will be involved in all parts of the project at the local, national and European level, with main contributions to the following tasks:
- Develop harmonized guidelines to conduct environmental impact assessments integrating life cycle assessment of deep geothermal energy
- Apply harmonized guidelines to Balmatt case study
- Create simplified parameterized model of Balmatt LCA model and test its interest among geothermal stakeholders that are not LCA experts
- Engage with decision makers for creating recommendations for harmonization of regulations