Geothermal ERA-NET

Project anticipates in support of geothermal research in Europe. That could lead to greater cooperation between energy agencies and ministries in Europe, and make it possible for them to work on common goals.

The Geothermal ERA-NET is an European cooperation started on 1st of May 2012 for duration of four years. Project aims to deepen the cooperation of national program owners and administrators and thus to be an enabler for the integration of national research and development agendas into a coherent European geothermal R&D program. This corresponds to a strategic contribution to the European Action Plan “Energy Policy for Europe”, speeding up the deployment of geothermal projects. Geothermal energy is a benign renewable energy source, which not only contributes to the overall goals of the European Action Plan (30% CO2 reduction, 20% energy savings, 20% renewable and 10% bio fuels), but may also integrate intermittent renewable energies with its base load capacity.

Geothermal ERA-NET is different from other conventional research projects since in this case the grant is for cooperation and coordination of the research plan of the countries involved but not for direct research. The Geothermal ERA-NET is the first step towards a coordinated research in the EU through the so-called SET-plan (European Strategic Energy Technology Plan).

The Geothermal ERA-NET aims to interact with international programs that foster cooperation in the areas of geothermal energy. In particular, some of the principal actors of the Geothermal ERA-NET (Iceland, France, Germany, and Switzerland) represent their countries in the International Energy Agency's Geothermal Implementing Agreement (IEA GIA) comprising 24 member countries and sponsors. The IEA GIA provides a platform to raise awareness and share knowledge on a wide range of activities related to the utilization of medium to high enthalpy geothermal resources. A more project oriented and focussed on Enhanced Geothermal Systems is the International Partnership on Geothermal Technology (IPGT) comprising the USA, Australia, Iceland and Switzerland. Like the IEA GIA, a few Geothermal ERA-NET actors (Iceland and Switzerland) are the government representatives in the IPGT's steering committee whose aims it is to coordinate RD&D activities in the IPGT countries.

Countries participating in the first instance in this ERA-NET are chosen on the basis of their ambitions to include geothermal energy into their goals for 2020 and 2050 on the reduction of CO2 emissions. A cornerstone of the implementation will be the broadening of this ERA-NET partnership by including additional European national program owners to ensure the appropriate geographic balance and complementarily.