European islands often face significant challenges when it comes to energy supply and energy costs. Due to geographic location, small economies of scale, and limited or absent interconnection to the mainland or to other islands, many islands are still heavily dependent upon costly imported fossil fuels to generate electricity or to meet their heating and cooling needs. Unlike other intermittent energy sources, geothermal energy could provide a stable, sustainable, and affordable energy supply for a wide variety of potential uses that are not restricted to electricity generation, but encompass many types of direct uses.
Geothermal heat pumps are an established technology that uses shallow geothermal energy, the heat stored beneath the earth surface, to supply space heating and cooling and sanitary hot water. They are very versatile and can be used in different kind of structures, from small, residential houses to large individual buildings or complexes of buildings, such as offices, hotels, schools, shopping centres, and so on.
Geothermal technologies can in many way contribute to the energy transition in regions with a long mining history. This fact sheet illustrates the potential for the technological transformation.
Geothermal technologies can contribute to the challenge of decarbonising cooling for a variety of demand profiles, in terms of temperature, capacity, and timing. They can be used in buildings for the residential and non-residential sector, as well as in the services and industrial sector.
Brussels, 31st May 2017 – The decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector is moving to the forefront of the debate on EU’s climate and energy ambitions, with several voices, most notably MEP José Blanco López, Rapporteur on the Renewable Energy Directive, asking for more investments in renewable heating and cooling to stay in line with the targets set by the Paris Agreement. But what can be done to transform the ambition in practical goals?
The agricultural sector is a heavy energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter which needs to be more sustainable, competitive, and to ensure food security. Much of the energy used by the industry is for low and medium level heat (less than 200°C), which is required at many stages of both production and treatment. Traditionally fossil fuels have been used, but fluctuating energy prices also expose the agri-food industry to risk. Geothermal is a solution for this fuel switch.