The utilization of geothermal energy is growing in Europe. From 26th to 28th of April, delegation and cooperation partners of Orkustofnuns came to Iceland from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Norway in the User4GeoEnergy project, which aims to improve energy efficiency in geothermal installations through changing consumer energy characteristics.
The aim of the project is to increase the efficiency of district heating systems in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in order to increase sustainability and decrease air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Meeting these goals should contribute to making geothermal DH systems more prevalent in cities, mitigating climate change and improving energy security.
The project’s partners with the National Energy Authority are the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (MEERI PAS) from Poland, which is leading the project, SLOVGEOTERM a.s. from Slovakia, InnoGeo Ltd. from Hungary and NORCE Norwegian Research Center AS from Norway.
During the visit to Iceland, the emphasis was on introducing the activities of companies in Iceland related to geothermal energy and district heating. For this purpose, a meeting was held at the National Energy Authority, where Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Director of Energy, welcomed the group and gave a presentation, as well as Marta Ros Karlsdóttir, Director of Sustainable use of natural resources. Companies and institutions in Iceland that are related to geothermal energy then had short presentations about their activities where there was an opportunity for discussions between the parties.
Visits were also made to various companies related to the utilization of geothermal energy and to the geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi and Reykjanes, where rapid development has taken place. There, the group met companies that use geothermal energy in various products and services and related activities. The companies the group visited were Hitaveita Seltjarnarnes, HS Orka, Bláa lónið, Geothermal Research Cluster (GEORG), Geothermica, Laxar aquaculture, ON, Carbfix, Climeworks, GeoSilica, Friðheimar, Varmaorka, Flúðasveppi and Límtré.
It was the opinion of the foreign visitors that there had been a significant progress in Iceland in many areas related to geothermal energy and derivative activities that could be learned from and utilized abroad. There was also interest in further cooperation between parties from the countries in question and Iceland.
The project started in October 2020 and will last until September 2023. The budget is EUR 1.32 million and is financed by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. Baldur Pétursson, project manager for international projects, is in charge of the project on behalf of the National Energy Authority.
The main focus of the project are:
- Dissemination of practical knowledge regarding the management and operation of geothermal district heating between Iceland and Norway on the one hand and Poland, Slovakia and Hungary on the other in order , to increase economic, environmental and climate benefits for all.
- Development of a mathematical model of geothermal systems (energy source – heat distribution – users) to analyze optimal solutions for the supply of geothermal energy in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary based on geothermal conditions and prices in domestic markets.
- Emphasis will be placed on temperature control systems and the importance of individual customers by sharing knowledge, experience and technical solutions to improve geothermal utilization based on sustainable solutions. The project also encourages home users to change their focus on central heating and enhance utilization.
Presentations from companies during the visit and more information on the project website can be seen here.