The two greatest advantages of geothermal energy are its constant availability and its independence from weather. Earth’s interior radiates heat constantly and everywhere. Its energetic potential can be used for heating or for generating electricity. We distinguish between near-surface or shallow geothermal energy (down to a depth of 400m) and deep geothermal energy (400m to around 7,000m depth).
Today around 20% of all new buildings have heating systems installed that use geothermal heating (Bundesverband Geothermie). The rapid availability of near-surface geothermal power is the main driving factor in this development. While heat production through geothermal energy is already quite widespread in Schleswig-Holstein, electricity generation by means of geothermal energy does not play any role at all (yet) in northern Germany. Electricity from geothermal power is only being produced in a few locations in southern Germany.
Research in the field of geothermal energy encompasses mainly optimising the utility of near-surface geothermal energy and refining the efficient use of deep geothermal power.
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