uUnder the earth in southern Hesse lies the solution to significantly reduce the strategic energy dependency on Russia and to give new impetus to the stuttering energy transition. At least that is what the Hessian state association of the Climate Union says, which is calling on politicians to set the necessary course for the greater use of geothermal energy. The Federal Association of the Climate Union meets at the invitation of the Hessians on June 18th and 19th for a congress in Frankfurt, at which the future strategic orientation, but also the use of geothermal energy, will be a topic. It is also about permanently ending the financing of autocratic systems with the help of alternative energies, warns Sven Laue, deputy chairman of the Hessian Climate Union.
“According to the assessment of the Federal Association for Geothermal Energy and the Hessian State Office for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG), there is the possibility of generating sufficient energy with geothermal energy in Hesse,” says Nicolas Neuwirth, scientific director of the Hessian Climate Union, in an interview with the FAZ This was the result of test drilling, which, for example, delivered positive results in Frankfurt right next to the Rebstockbad in the new building. According to Neuwirth, Germany’s greatest geothermal potential is in the Upper Rhine Graben between Frankfurt and Freiburg. “For so-called deep geothermal energy, you need at least 60 degrees Celsius for thermal energy generation and 100 degrees Celsius for electrical energy generation,” explains the 31-year-old from Wiesbaden, pointing to a map he brought with him, according to which large parts of southern Hesse are “far more than 100 degrees”. Neuwirth is a specialist, because he is a geoscientist at Frankfurt University.
“Iceland does it wonderfully”
In the Hessian part of the Upper Rhine Graben, the most productive area of which is in a narrow strip between Groß-Gerau and Rüsselsheim, 25 geothermal power plants could theoretically generate an annual output of more than 850 terawatt hours of thermal energy, says Neuwirth, but qualifies that these are maximum values be. However, he is convinced that even with 60 percent of the maximum energy yield, around 22 percent of German heat energy consumption or almost 1.5 percent of German electricity consumption per year could be generated with the help of 15 power plants from southern Hesse. “Iceland is a wonderful example of how energy can be generated with geothermal energy,” says the scientist. In addition, geothermal power plants would have other advantages over wind turbines and solar parks: They take up less space, work independently of the weather, require significantly fewer resources and they do not pose a threat to birds.
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