The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a loan of close to €45 million for an innovative geothermal heating project Eavor-LoopTM in the German state of Bavaria. Canada-based Eavor will implement its closed loop geothermal technology for the first time at commercial scale in the Bavarian town of Geretsried. In contrast to conventional geothermal heating, the Eavor-LoopTM technology does not capture heat from subsurface water or steam reservoirs. Instead, the company drills deeply into the earth and harvests the heat directly from underground rocks.

The Eavor-LoopTM system resembles a giant underground radiator. Two vertical wells are drilled to a depth of 4 500 to 5 000 metres. Then 12 pairs of horizontal laterals, 3 000 to 3 500 metres long, are drilled from the bases of each of the two wells, for a total of about 90 kilometres of drilling (about 320 to 360 kilometres for four loops). The giant radiator is then filled with fluid. The system operates naturally on a thermosiphon. The water in the bottom part of the system is heated by the underground rock and naturally rises to the surface where it can be used directly for district heating or to generate power.

The system emits fewer greenhouse gases than conventional geothermal systems because there is no need to reinject new fluids and it does not require the extensive use of pumps. To operate this system, a specific kind of subterranean rock is needed to use the thermal conductivity.

Source: European Commission

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