Brussels, 21st January 2021 - The European Geothermal Energy Council, together with a broad coalition of 33 businesses, industry associations, NGOs and think tanks urge the European Commission to prioritise available efficient and sustainable solutions to decarbonise Europe’s building stock and avoiding the direct use of hydrogen for this purpose. Addressing the European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in an open letter, the co-signatories underline that massive emissions reductions in the building sector will be needed (<60% compared to 2015) to achieve a higher 2030 EU climate target. This requires applying the energy efficiency first principle and boost the integration of renewables, as envisaged by the Renovation Wave strategy. Philippe Dumas, EGEC Geothermal Secretary General, said "The European Union should tap into clean, ready-to-use and affordable solutions to cut down emissions in buildings. Geothermal heat pumps and district heating, for example, are among the cheapest and most efficient low-carbon technologies. This would be the most sensible, economically-viable and environmentally-friendly path for the European Union to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050". While it is true that renewable hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, its direct use for heating on a large scale is problematic because it comes with many uncertainties linked to the scalability, costs of its production and inefficiencies, the letter says. To optimise the process of heat decarbonisation in the medium and long-term, the EU should favour energy efficiency options as they can immediately deliver real carbon savings, while accommodating a growing share of renewable sources. The co-signatories call on the Commission not to overestimate the potential of “zero-emission gas”, which would be mostly imported from abroad. Doing that would constrain EU taxpayers to fund unnecessary infrastructures, such as gas pipelines (or their upgrade), diverting financial resources from immediately applicable and more sustainable heat decarbonisation solutions. Notes to the editors The efficiency factor between green hydrogen and competitive technologies is so large that hydrogen is not a viable option when it comes to heating in buildings. For example, it takes about five times more wind or solar electricity to heat a home with hydrogen than it takes to heat the same home with an efficient heat pump., Fraunhofer, Hydrogen in the energy system of the future: Focus on heat in buildings, 2020  Agora, Heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency, and sector integration
The Hungarian Geothermal System (OGRe) is an online platform that provides up-to-date and reliable information on geological, hydrogeological and geophysical data about Hungary’s geothermal energy resources via a user-friendly and publicly accessible site.
On 15 December the European Commission launched a proposal to revise rules for cross-border energy infrastructure in line with the European Green Deal. EGEC regrets to see geothermal district heating excluded from this Regulation, especially as fossil-based distributed energy systems will continue to receive public funds and development support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
EGEC, together with a broad group of businesses, civil society organisations and think tanks sent an open letter to Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
EGEC Members are invited to provide feedback by 07/01/2021 to the European Commission questionnaire on the review of the State Aid Guidelines. This questionnaire notably looks to identify the most relevant ways to direct state aid to the efficient market uptake of renewable energy technologies.
EGEC welcomes the European Commission’s call to revise its competition policy that will support the successful implementation of the European Green Deal.
With the cooperation of CY Cergy Paris Université (France) andUniversité de Neuchâtel (Switzerland), the 12th European Geothermal PhD Days are eager to prepare a scientific programme and provide an opportunity for PhD students to meet many of their peers in geothermal research and to make connections between one another
CY Cergy Paris University (CYU) partner is calling the whole consortium to prepare for the training programme of the MEET project, the Geothermal Winter School 2021. Through this meeting, PhD students have the opportunity to get more visibility for their research work. The event is oriented towards practical knowledge and applied geosciences in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) It will focus on Research & Development topics raised by the MEET project regarding EGS potential in Europe.
13:00 - 15:15 CET