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How geothermal energy can help Europe towards energy independence

Geothermal energy Canva
Image credit: Canva
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Against the background of intensifying climate change effects traced partly to human activity, diversifying the energy mix with less carbon-intensive sources has become a key target for EU countries. Add to that the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which brought Russia some of the most drastic economic sanctions to date from the western world. 

This raised uncertainty on European imports of natural gas for electricity and heating from Russia, prompting leaders to think of solutions for energy independence. One of the most promising resources is geothermal energy, which uses heat from underground waters and releases excess heat and gasses back in the soil. 

Countries such Iceland are pioneers in the use of geothermal energy for space heating. Romania also has a great potential for generating geothermal energy, especially in the mountain region, however this hasn’t been effectively explored due to lack of awareness and investment.

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“According to ARPA-E, quoted by The Next Web, if we would use 0.1% of the Earth’s energy we would provide all human power needs for 20 million years. Geothermal is reliable, renewable and it doesn’t generate greenhouse gasses. And we can see it in action in Iceland.

Also, geothermal energy has a minimal footprint on Earth, versus wind or solar energy that have an important footprint above ground. The Next Web spoke to some experts in the field of geothermal energy from the Dutch TNO Institute, who explained some of the techniques that could be used.

Estimates on how much of Europe’s power could be provided by geothermal sources range from 4% to 12.5%. A 2020 European Commission report concluded that, “with today’s technology, 25% of the European population can cost-effectively deploy geothermal heating.”

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Find out more about who is investing in geothermal energy projects and what challenges they need to surpass from Green Start-up.ro. 

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Antoanela is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive with a knack for sustainability and environment protection. She is on a mission to communicate and celebrate innovative ideas and solutions that improve our ability to thrive together on this planet.
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