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GEO PAC RET an Innovative Heat Pump for Geothermal district heating in Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GEO PAC RET (GEO PAC RET an Innovative Heat Pump for Geothermal district heating in Europe)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-03-31

Enertime is developing a new innovative large-scale industrial heat pump (PAC’RET) specifically designed for district heating needs. The aim is to boost renewable energy district heating projects, replacing fossil (gas, coal, fuel) boilers with Heat Pump using deep geothermal sources at medium temperature or low temperature sources in the ground (minewater, medium-depth geothermal sources). Those resources are widespread in most of European countries and could heat hundreds of cities thanks to Heat Pumps (HP).
The objectives of this H2020 phase 1 market study were:
- Review of European District heating networks needs and expectations. Analysis of legal and market issues impacting large-scale HP development.
- Review of resources recoverable by HP in Europe. Analysis of their productivity and potential. Analysis and understanding of technical, economic, legal and political barriers and opportunities regarding geothermal energy.
- Cross-analysis of geothermal resources data and district heating demand data with legal and market impacts to determinate different market segments and scales
- Scale the potential market and draw a business plan
Thermal needs of European DH were analyzed as well as technological, legal, economic and political opportunities and limitations. Database of all European cities with DH and several benchmarks regrouping data from numerous sources were created and analyzed.
During all the market study process, numerous meetings and exchanges were held with DH-related companies in the targeted countries and included DH operators, investing companies, drilling companies, and governmental agencies. It also gave Enertime a better comprehension of needs, opportunities and limitations of the potential market.

Enertime partner GZB (International Geothermal Center) identified, analyzed, reviewed and selected all geothermal areas in Europe that can be used for the heat pumps, including deep geothermal aquifers and coal mining areas. A detailed multilayer GIS map and a detailed study of geothermal potential was done and included a deep analysis of geothermal layers characteristics: technical, potential, feasibility, risks,...
In addition, GZB did an analysis of existing GeoDH networks and a study presenting general knowledge about geothermal energy and drilling, including a benchmark/monitoring of European legal and political positioning regarding geothermal projects.

The crossing of geothermal potential data and DH information provided Enertime a potential market scaling and possible project localization.
It allowed also to understand barriers and opportunities of using geothermal HP in DH networks, and to determine the priority regions for development.
Considering this information, a detailed business plan was drawn for the next years.

In the meantime, Enertime was contacted by different companies for several offer request, proving the interest of the actors.
Several pilot sites were identified for a demonstration project that will be submitted to H2020 SME program Phase2.
While Europe undertakes an energy and ecological transition toward cleaner ways of producing electricity, heating remains highly dependent of fossil fuels. Renewable electricity production projects and technologies saw a significant development in the last decades, while renewable heat projects developed slowly.
Enertime believes that heating systems in Europe could be rapidly transformed into low carbon system using geothermal sources coupled with efficient heat pumps, and that this transformation can be done with great benefit, a reduction of the cost of energy and the use of a well-known almost unlimited geothermal energy.
The development of those projects will allow a yearly use of 12-15 TWh of geothermal energy in District Heating applications thanks to new large scale high temperature Heat Pumps.
Substitution of fossil fuels by heat pumps represents savings up to 10 000 000 tons eq. CO2 of greenhouse effect gases in Europe. HP development is also linked to renewable electricity projects, which allows to use it efficiently (COP ~4-5) in heating systems and to use heat as an energy storage in a smart grid/smart city network.

By crossing Geothermal potential, District Heating needs data and analyzing impacting market and legal issues, Enertime identified an important market which of more than 1000 potential projects. Hundreds of those projects are addressable in the next years and represent a market of 1000-2000 M€.
Under current regulatory and market situation, best conditions for the main development of GeoDH assisted with Heat pumps projects are found in France and Germany both for existing and new DH networks, but also in several other European countries with low and medium temperature geothermal resources.

During the project, this market study and over 20 meeting with district heating and geothermal-related companies, experts and officials were held and allowed Enertime to get a better understanding of the potential market, of competitive landscape and of customer expectations. It confirmed that the current performance/cost ratio is too low and that technological optimization is required in order to reach the European market potential, therefore allowing a new innovative solution to take leadership on it.
At the same time a pilot site was identified for a demonstration project that will be submitted to H2020 SME program Phase2.
Beyond technical validation in a full-size project in actual operations, a demonstration project under a European program will allow Enertime to transform and to grow with a first commercial reference.
European support will also be a significant asset when tuning the business model and the relevant partnerships and actively prospecting the market, with additional traction and visibility.
Development of PAC’RET will impact Enertime and will give the opportunity of becoming a key player of both large-scale HP and enabler of new geothermal DH networks projects. This development will also allow Enertime to develop and create new growth and numerous employment opportunities.
Expected future new Heat Pump district heating projects
Heat Pump recoverable Geothermal potential for District Heating applications
Potential DH conversion projects from conventional to Heat Pump Geothermal
Heat Pump working principle
Temperature and load curve of a DH with a HP (60°C source)