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Geothermal Finance and Awareness in European Regions (GEOFAR)

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Deep geothermal energy has a high potential not yet exploited to a large extend. Especially non-technical (financial) barriers and the lack of awareness among decision makers hinder investment in geothermal power plants and industrial geothermal applications. GEOFAR aims to reduce financial barriers in the initial stages of geothermal energy projects by developing appropriate financing and funding schemes suitable to boost the development and investment in geothermal energy projects. GEOFAR also aims to raise the awareness of emerging (industrial) geothermal applications and to change the understanding and behaviour of the local and regional decision makers as well as key stakeholders (in the target countries Germany, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary)by providing relevant information and by organising exchange and know-how transfer seminars.


  • Financial scheme: GEOFAR has proposed a geothermal risk mitigation system (GeoRiMi) that can facilitate the governance of geothermal energy projects for local and regional authorities and contribute to the overcoming of the main financial barriers in early stages of geothermal energy projects. The financial scheme was evaluated by financial experts and checked for due diligence by financial institutions.
  • Expert involvement: In all stages of the GEOFAR project external experts from the target group and key actors have been involved. Especially in the reality check of the development of the geothermal risk mitigation system (GeoRiMi) this was a crucial step to success. Among the involved experts there had been representatives from i.e. EIB, KfW, Islandsbanki, Greek Ministry of Development, Bavarian Ministry of Economy, SOGEO, Pethraterm Espana, ADEME, Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency, etc.
  • Awareness Seminars and Final Conference: GEOFAR executed several awareness events taking place in the GEOFAR target countries Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, and Greece in order to raise the awareness of the target group, especially regional politicians and decision makers, regarding geothermal energy. The potential of geothermal energy was presented based on the analysis of GEOFAR and the proposed financial scheme for the initial stages of geothermal projects introduced.
  • Documentary Film: GEOFAR has developed a documentary film on geothermal energy that gives a general overview on geothermal energy and its possible applications, presents possibilities and potential of geothermal energy across Europe and shows the advantages of the geothermal applications. The documentary film raises awareness on the potential of geothermal energy.
  • Innovative geothermal technologies/Factsheet: GEOFAR has described the technical possibilities of innovative geothermal technologies and highlighted the huge potential of geothermal energy for Europe. A quick overview on the commercially available innovative technologies in the field of geothermal energy is given. The technologies used are reviewed and their financial viability assessed. This will be important for raising awareness on the potential and the possibilities of geothermal energy use.

Lessons learned

  • In Europe there are more geothermal resources than it seems and more geothermal power demand than is known. As geothermal energy is the least known renewable energy source, steadily raising awareness of the local and national politics concerning the more targeting financial support of the development of the geothermal sector in Europe is crucial in order to achieve the 20%-20%-20% target as geothermal energy is a reliable part of the energy mix.
  • Europe is characterized by a heterogeneous financial support structure for geothermal energy projects with large differences in financial tools used. Germany and France, the countries with the most targeting funding structure have succeeded the highest exploitation of geothermal energy. Key to success is a support for financing early stages of geothermal energy projects. An emerging financial scheme, like GEORIMI, is necessary for fostering development of geothermal energy across whole Europe.
  • Across Europe a more intense experience exchange between experienced and less experienced geothermal energy stakeholders is necessary to equal the knowledge base across Europe.Especially in countries with a limited number of working geothermal systems and projects under development there is a lack of necessary practical know-how among the stakeholders.Learning from experienced project developers will have in the mid-term positive effect on the geothermal energy exploitation. Last update:28.10.11

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Erlangen AG Technologie Scouting & Marketing
Contact point: 
Marco Wendel
0049 9131 530 2801


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In brief

01/09/2008 to 28/02/2011
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