The use of geothermal energy, particularly for heat, is slowly but steadily increasing across Europe. Analysing the development of both the electricity and the heat sectors until December 2015, the 5th edition of the EGEC market report shows growth in all areas, but notes that the potential is far from met. Higher ambitions are needed if Europe is to fully benefit from this energy source.
In Europe there are now 88 operational power plants with a total capacity of 2285MWe. Of these plants, 52 are in the EU, with a capacity of 991MWe. There has been significant growth since the last publication of the report in December 2014 when there were 77 plants with a cumulative capacity of 2000MWe. This growth is mainly due to rapid expansion in Turkey, which is set to continue. Italy, the traditional home of Geothermal is in focus too, reaching its highest ever level of production in 2015: 6188GWh. In the coming years, dynamic development is expected in many EU countries.
District heating and cooling has been a success story for Geothermal, which continues to expand into new markets. There are 257 district heating plants in Europe, with a total installed capacity of 4701.7MWth. Of these plants, 177 are in the EU, with a total installed capacity of 1551.8 MWth. This compares with the 247 and 162 plants in Europe and the EU respectively, reported at the end of 2014.
The shallow geothermal market is the largest market by far. Around 1.4 million Ground Source Heat Pumps are installed in Europe, with a capacity of 19,000MWth. Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Germany have the highest number of heat pumps, accounting for 69% of the total installed capacity.
The full version of the market report is available to EGEC members in the reserved area.