Germany Plans Law to Boost Geothermal Energy Amid Shift Away from Fossil Fuels

's economy ministry announced plans on Friday to accelerate the approval processes for plants, heat pumps, and heat storage systems. This initiative forms part of Berlin's ambitious goal to phase out fossil fuels from its heating system by 2045. According to the ministry, the legislation aims to overcome bureaucratic hurdles and local opposition that have hindered the tapping of Germany's substantial geothermal reserves.

“Geothermal energy could cover more than a quarter of Germany's annual heat demand,” a study by the Fraunhofer Institute highlighted, emphasizing the sector's potential contribution to the country's energy transition.

Vulcan Energy Resources, a prominent geothermal energy and lithium producer, hailed the proposed law as a “forward-looking, groundbreaking milestone.” CEO Cris Moreno underscored, “We believe that geothermal heat and power is not only a cornerstone of Germany's future, but also a critical component in achieving energy security, reducing emissions, and fostering sustainable economic growth.”

The draft legislation seeks to streamline approval procedures and address legal barriers, aiming for a faster and more efficient expansion of renewable heat sources. “As with wind turbines and PV systems, these systems for generating geothermal energy as well as heat pumps and heat storage systems should … also be given an overriding public interest,” the ministry stated, noting that current approval processes for geothermal projects can span several years.

Berlin has set ambitious targets, aiming to increase geothermal energy production tenfold by 2030 and expand the number of geothermal power stations from 42 to 54. “By 2030, 10 terawatt hours (TWh) are to be generated from geothermal energy. The law lays the foundations for this,” the ministry added.

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