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Germany Creates Boom in Geothermal Electricity


New legislation in Germany is making geothermal electricity a viable option for the first time. Germany’s support of solar energy, mostly in the form of incentives and high return for consumers who sell excess solar power back to the grid, has made it a world powerhouse in solar energy generation and solar panel manufacturing. Now it promises to surge ahead in geothermal electricity generation, according to a story in Renewable Energy World. A new tariff structure has made deep drilling for higher temperature steam financially feasible, causing a boom in plant construction and a shortage of drilling equipment.

“… Germany could be generating several thousands of megawatts (MW) of electricity from geothermal sources in a couple of decades. More plants — some as big as 8-10 MW — are due to go into operation in 2009-2010 …. And looking 3 to 5 years ahead, there could be more than a hundred plants. About 150 geothermal power plant projects are in the pipeline representing an investment of 4 billion euros, according to the German government.” — Jane Burgermeister, Renewable Energy World

1,300 households get heat, and 500 households get their electricity from a geothermal plant in Neustadt-Glewe, which gets 97-degree centigrade water from a well dug 2250 meters deep.  Image credit:

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Written By

Carol Gulyas is a leader in the renewable energy community in Illinois, where she serves as VP of the Board of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Recently she co-founded EcoAchievers -- a provider of online education for the renewable energy and sustainable living community. She spent 18 years in the direct marketing industry in New York and Chicago, and is currently a teaching librarian at Columbia College Chicago. Carol grew up in a small town in central Indiana, then lived in the Pacific Northwest, Lima, Peru, and New York City. She is inspired by reducing energy consumption through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building technology.


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