Weisweiler lignite-fired Power Station | RWE
Weisweiler lignite-fired Power Station | RWE

Heat from great depths

Weisweiler geothermal energy

Hot water from a depth of several kilometres below ground not only has a beneficial and restorative effect in thermal pools. In Iceland it is used to a significant degree to generate district heating and even electricity. In continental north-western Europe, geothermal energy also has the potential to supply residential areas and industrial plants with district heating. As a natural, renewable source of energy it would make a significant contribution towards reducing our carbon footprint. That would be a win for climate protection, since the demand for heating accounts for 53 percent of energy consumption in north-western Europe. But at the moment only 2.5 percent of that comes from renewables.

Major hydrothermal potential in Weisweiler

This block diagram illustrates the underground geological layers in and around Weisweiler. The limestone horizons marked in blue are of interest. The upper horizon of carboniferous limestone is at a depth of about 2,000 metres. Then there is a section of massive limestone is 3,000 metres deep. The exact position of these layers and their hot water permeability, however, need further investigation before water at a temperature of 70 to 100°C can be used.

RWE Innovation Centre – Weisweiler geothermal energy: potential in Weisweiler

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RWE Innovation Centre – Weisweiler geothermal energy: project partner

18 project partners pulling together

The German government has supported the project’s application to Interreg. As far as the project management side is concerned — from planning through to final completion — DGE-ROLLOUT will be supported by the company europiZe.

The European Union fosters “European territorial collaboration” as part of its structural and investment policy. With that in mind, it set up the Interreg programme 20 years ago to support transnational collaboration on specific projects between national, regional and municipal partners within collaborative regions such as north-western Europe.

First test drillings successfully completed

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