EGEC, the European Geothermal Energy Council, was founded in 1998 as an international non-profit association in Brussels. Its office is based nearby the European Institutions in the Renewable Energy House. EGEC has now more than 129 members from 28 European countries: private companies, national associations, consultants, research centers, geological surveys and other public authorities. EGEC is a member of EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, which groups together all of the main European renewable energy industry and research associations. EGEC is also a member of the International Geothermal Association (IGA).
EGEC is the voice of Geothermal in Europe
More than 120 members from 28 countries, including private companies, national associations, consultants, research centres, geological surveys, and public authorities, make EGEC the strongest and most powerful geothermal network in Europe, uniting and representing the entire sector.
An international non-profit organisation founded in 1998 and based in the heart of the European quarter in Brussels, the role of EGEC is to promote members’ interests, making sure they develop and thrive. It enables the development of the European geothermal industry- whether shaping policy, improving business conditions, or driving more research and development.
The work of the secretariat can be divided into three categories:
- Intelligence gathering: monitoring, analysing and researching the political environment, briefing members on legislative and financial developments and the effects their businesses
- Promotion: speaking for the geothermal industry and make sure it has a positive position in public discourse. Members have exclusive marketing opportunities are represented at the main industry events
- Impact: giving members access to decision makers and helping them shape European policy. The secretariat also arranges and facilitates networking and makes contacts on members’ behalf.
Members receive tailored and individual support, regular updates on news and opportunities from Brussels and the rest of Europe, access to privileged information in the members’ only section of the website, and a number of financial benefits.
Geothermal energy: from the earth, a renewable energy resource delivering heat and power 24 hours a day throughout the year, an energy resource nearly infinite and available all over the world.
By definition, geothermal energy is the energy stored in form of heat below the earth’s surface. It has been used since antiquity for heating, and for about 100 years also for electricity generation. Its potential is inexhaustible in human terms, comparable to that of the sun. Beside electric power generation, geothermal energy is today used for district heating, as well as for heating (and cooling) of individual buildings, including offices, shops, small residential houses, etc.
Geothermal-generated electricity was first produced at Larderello, Italy, in 1904. Iceland, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Germany and France are the leading countries in Europe today.
The largest geothermal district heating systems within Europe can be found in the Paris and Munich area, with Austria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and others showing a substantial number of interesting geothermal district heating systems. Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Austria are the leading countries in terms of market for geothermal heat pumps in Europe.
Today, geothermal power plants exist on every continent, at any place were reservoirs of steam or hot water can be found. The installed capacity in Europe amounts to around 1.6GWe, of which 0.9GWe is in the EU. The relevant resources are far from being fully developed, including in Europe. The concept of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (including the classical Hot-Dry-Rock-idea) is going to add a tremendously to the potential.
Deep and Direct uses
The earth is full of energy. Virtually any temperature level in the underground can be used directly, for instance with deep boreholes. Did you know, that through deep boreholes almost 4500 MWth yet are installed in Europe? 4500 MWth for a clean environment. However, here again, only a small fraction of the resources are currently used.
Virtually every temperature level in the underground can be used for geothermal energy, even if this means only ca. 3-15 °C, as usual in the shallow underground in European climate. In most cases a heat pump is required here, and cooling can be supplied as well as heating. This technology provides again about 9000 MWth of heating capacity.
Geothermal in Agriculture
Geothermal is increasingly being used in the agri-food industry as it meets many of the sectors’ requirements. Low or medium temperature geothermal heat is available everywhere in the world, and the systems enabling its use are simple and easy to maintain. Geothermal projects are installed locally and provide heating and cooling at competitive prices. They create direct and indirect jobs across the value chain.