Geothermal energy has recently become one of the emerging energy sources of the sustainable future. However, we are still at the beginning of this development, especially in Europe. So far, we can only guess at the potential. Especially support programs of the European Union should now help this development to grow and bring Europe forward in terms of renewable energy.
Geothermal – the basics
But what does the term geothermal energy actually mean? Also called geothermie, geothermal energy is heat that is stored within the earth’s crust. The heat can originate from the earth’s interior or be brought in by rain or meltwater. By geothermal heat transfer this energy can now be made usable. This energy can be used for heating, cooling and also for generating electricity.
The USA and Japan in particular are currently focusing on this emerging trend. Closely followed by Indonesia, rather few countries have turned to this energy. There are not only efforts by the EU. Also within the economy some entrepreneurs try to establish this sustainable and future-oriented branch of energy production. One of them is the entrepreneur Bart Duijndam. As an expert with over 20 years of experience in geothermal energy, we had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Bart Duijndam for an interview.
Bart Duijndam and geothermal energy
Interviewer: Mr. Duijndam, you have been one of the European experts on geothermal energy for more than 20 years. You foresaw this trend early on and actively supported it with your company 85 Degrees Renewable Energy and as manager of the IPS Group, especially IPS Geothermal. How do you see the chances of the European Union still being able to actively shape this trend? Or have we been left behind in the meantime?
Bart Duijndam: That’s a good question. The topic of energy has been with me for a very long time. I think we certainly made a few mistakes in Europe originally. But we haven’t missed a beat. With 85 Degrees Renewable Energy, we originally focused on the Dutch market and promoted geothermal projects. Meanwhile, we are represented throughout Europe. That shows that we are catching up fast in Europe. The market for geothermal energy is already huge. We just need to exploit it. This is where we are right now. But with the ready support of the government, I am confident as a European.
Interviewer: Let’s take a look at the current support from the European Union. Especially in the beginning, many experts criticized the will of the EU. They said the program was “uninspired” and “thrown together”. Do you share this view, or has something changed here?
Bart Duijndam: I would not have called the European Union’s program “uninspired” at all, even at the beginning. Rather, the EU approached a new topic with caution. Therefore, there were early funding programs and opportunities for research. One example is the European structural and investment funds or NER 300. In the meantime, however, much more has been done. Recently, there is an award for particularly sustainable energy sources. The European Union has also begun to broker projects and grants to interested parties. So you can see, the will is there. With these incentives, it is now up to us, the business community, to get started quickly and drive geothermal energy forward in Europe. The Eu has laid the foundation for this.
Interviewer: A clear answer, thank you Mr. Duijndam. Let’s move on to you and your company and your work. What does 85 Degrees Renewable Energy do to bring Europe forward in terms of geothermal energy?
Bart Duijndam: First of all, we support our partners with expertise and equipment. The crux of every project, especially in the energy sector, is often a lack of expertise or equipment. This can quickly lead to major problems. This is where we step in as a company. With our many years of experience, we offer the foundation for a successful geothermal project. With our equipment we leave beside our expert knowledge also proven and qualitatively high-quality procedures and materials on site, in order to strengthen our partners also outside of the expertise the back.
Interviewer: Thank you, Mr. Duijndam. Perhaps you would like to conclude with your assessment. How do you see the future of geothermal energy in Europe?
Bart Duijndam: I can answer that easily. I think we see only a glimpse of the real possibilities of geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is one of the most sustainable and safe ways of energy production. Especially the impact on our environment is low. Be it through the energy production itself, but also through the required components. If we continue to be so ambitious on this topic, Europe can be a world leader in 5 to maybe 10 years and play a strong role in the international energy debate.
Interviewer: Thank you very much for your answer and your time Mr. Duijndam.
Bart Duijndam Weblinks:
Born 1981 in Strasbourg, is a freelance journalist for various online media throughout Europe, focusing on finance, real estate and politics. He gathered his professional expertise as a consultant for global players and medium-sized companies. Fournier studied economics and german in Paris and Dresden. He currently lives in Saarland and has been a member of the Euro Leaders team since the beginning of 2019.