GEOFIT at the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1

The GEOFIT project was recently presented at the World Geothermal Congress 2020+1 on 26th October in Reykjavík, Iceland. Around 300 people attended the conference across its 3-day duration (25-27 October), and there were 31 participating European-funded research projects (GEOFIT + 30 others) represented in the European Research & Innovation Pavilion organized by the GEOTHERMICA Project (Grant agreement ID: 731117). The pavilion has a dedicated website, and Twitter handle. The pavilion highlighted Research & Innovation European project’s cooperation, displaying the research outcomes, and boosting the positive impact on geothermal needs and untapped energy. There was an opening speech at the Pavilion by EC Project Officer Ms. Filipa Vieira Matias. The GEOFIT presentation was delivered by Zia Lennard of R2M Solution, and after a general introduction of the project it focused on briefing the 5 Pilots and the various tools and methods being utilized within the project. The presentation was recorded and images of the slides are shown below.

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WGC 2020+1 had a limited focus on shallow geothermal for low temperature heating and cooling. However, in that regard hopefully the onsite GEOFIT presentation and the associated earlier virtual presentation delivered by Michael Lauermann and Edith Haslinger of the Austrian Institute of Technology raised awareness to the innovativeness of technology coupling at system level, as well as the wide potential and positive socioeconomic impact of geothermal technologies for building renovation for the attendees of the conference, market players, and scientific researchers.

Iceland has a total installed geothermal power generation capacity of 755 MW and is among the top 10 countries in the world when it comes to electricity generation from geothermal. In terms of direct use, Iceland has developed into a role model both with its extensive use for district heating (90% of all homes are heated by geothermal energy), but also in the cascaded use of geothermal heat for bathing and swimming, greenhouse operations, fish farming and more. Moreover, the potential impact of GEOFIT was very apparent when seeing how all homes and buildings in Iceland used to be heated by direct use of geothermal steam, as illustrated in the image below.



The GEOFIT consortium celebrated its 8th General Assembly in person in the city of Perugia for three days. This time and after a long lockdown for the project consortium, the partners joined the meeting in the University of Perugia headquarters (Universidad degli Studi de Perugia). This General Assembly represents a big milestone within the project because of the Pilot leaded by the University of Perugia is now running, and the installation and commissioning processes have been successfully completed.

The partners presented their progress regarding the different work packages and explained the work done during the last months after the 7th General Assembly held remotely in May 2021.

GEOFIT Project Partners at University of Perugia

For the restrictions already existing as consequence of COVID_19 pandemic, some partners attended the meeting remotely. This situation did not represent any inconvenient to review the project progress and plan the next steps towards the project closing next year.

The different Work Packages and deliverables are in a very finished status according to the work plan. The meeting had a big issue to discuss in terms of the demo sites progress, to this respect, the pilot owners showed the results obtained during this period. For Bordeaux demo site the drilling works are finished, and the installation of geothermal systems (EGS) is planned to be done the week before Christmas. The commissioning is planned to be performed during the Q1 2022. Regarding the Sant Cugat demo site, the control system must be completed in December 2021 and the commissioning of the geothermal system is planned for the third week of January 2022, while the passive cooling system will be installed in Easter 2022. With respect to Galway demo site, the first heat pump has been produced and sent, the other one will be ready in early February 2022 while some other aspects of the works to be performed on the site are being solved. In Aran demo site, the drilling works have been done, and the insulation material is being installed in the house.

One of the main objectives of the meeting at Perugia has been the visit to the first demo site completed. This visit to Sant’ Apollinare was really satisfactory as the results of the project have been successfully presented by Anna Laura Pisello and Jessica Romanelli from University of Perugia.

Visit to Sant’ Apollinare – Perugia Demo site of GEOFIT Project

Besides the technical development and piloting of the project, the consortium agreed to reinforce the dissemination and publicity actions of the different technologies used in the project. To this respect, a benchmarking tool will be published as web-tool – to be embedded in the GEOFIT website.

Finally, the participation in several reference congresses and events are important actions that will be continued in 2022. As a GROENHOLLAND initiative, the project will be present in the European Geothermal Congress and also as panel expert in Berlin in October 2022. Some partners like AIT, EURECAT, NUIG and IDP have submitted abstracts for the Congress. The consortium will also be present at GeoTherm Congress in Offenburg – Germany at the beginning of 2022. A stand to exhibit the different technologies developed in GEOFIT will be available.

Visit to the technical room at Sant’ Apollinare – Perugia