Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Germany Taps Its Geothermal Potential

Ventilators side-view

In 2015, the citizens of Holzkirchen, Bavaria-Germany, decided 17-8 to build a geothermal heat & power station.

  • Investment: 40 million euro.
  • Operational: early 2019.
  • Hot water production rate at 150C: 50 liter/s, from 2 wells at a depth of 5000 m.
  • Power generation: 3.4 MW, organic Rankin cycle.
  • Electricity guaranteed for 20 years at 25 cent/kWh.
  • Yearly income: 6 million euro.
  • Payback time investment: 20 years, after that “free clean energy”.
  • Balance heat-electricity generation is not fixed but adjustable.
  • Many say: better this than ever more wind turbines.

The operation now works successful and ambition is growing to expand to other municipalities. It looks like Holzkirchen just created yet another renewable energy option, apart from solar, wind, biomass and hydro. Holzkirchen is already thinking of drilling a third borehole. Expect this example to have many followers.

[] – Geothermie, project stite
[] – Aiming for Climate Targets, Germany Taps Its Geothermal Potential
[] – Geothermie Holzkirchen: Neue Bohrung mit neuen Partnern?
[] – Geothermie ab sofort in Betrieb
[] – Geothermie Holzkirchen: Neue Bohrung mit neuen Partnern?
[] – Organic Rankine cycle

1. Heat generation, heat exchangers. Oil & gas backup present
2. Cooling
3. Well and pump, 550m below the surface
4. Turbine generating electricity, pumped in the grid for 25 cent/kWh
5. Control center

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