Geothermal helps fuel Munich

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 30th Jul, 2012

Germany has long been on the cutting edge of an eco-friendly lifestyle and has made a conscious effort to reduce its carbon footprint. To further move towards a more sustainable future, Munich has decided to go geothermal.

From the many eco-friendly options available, the city has decided to implement state-of-the-art geothermal technology in sixteen places under the city. Holes will be dug 3,000 metres deep in order to find extremely hot water, which can then be converted into electricity. Once the water source is found, pipes are attached, and through them hot steam rises from the earth's crust to the surface. The steam is pressurised and forced into a turbine, which then turns and, as a result, electricity is generated. As hot water rises through the pipe, cold water is pumped back down into the earth, and the process is repeated.

In the coming weeks, huge trucks will test Munich's geothermal capabilities. A plate will be laid on the ground and shaken three times for three seconds every 40 metres. This is to check a response in order to determine whether or not that area is suitable for the production of energy. Although people living in these areas might feel the measurements being taken, the measurements will last no longer than 20 minutes.

Geothermal energy can be used on a small or a large scale, and some homes even have their own geothermal system that provides power for water, electricity, floor heating and more. One local company, Rödl and Partner in Unterhaching south of Munich, predicts massive growth in this branch over the next ten or fifteen years. According to their website, the Southern Germany Molasse Basin is Central Europe's most promising geothermal reservoir.

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