Geothermal energy

The term geothermal energy refers to the natural thermal energy of the Earth, which is transported from the warm interior of the planet to its surface. Geothermal energy is a sustainable and practically inexhaustible energy source that, based on current technology, can cover heating and cooling needs, and also produce electricity in certain cases.

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The exploitation of geothermal energy includes electricity generation applications, heat and power cogeneration, as well as building applications. Possible applications are:

  • Electricity generation;
  • Thermal energy supply e.g. for heating greenhouses;
  • Heat and power cogeneration;
  • Geothermal air-conditioning for buildings by using geothermal heat pumps (shallow geothermal energy) that exploit the difference of temperature between the heat pump’s circulation liquid and the ground.

Advantages - Environmental Benefits

  • No significant seasonal fluctuations;
  • Low operational cost achieving high efficiency and thus offsetting the high initial cost;
  • Does not significantly affect surface land use;
  • Contributes to avoiding CO2 emissions; indicatively, the use of geothermal air-conditioning reduces CO2 emissions by about 30% compared to a system that uses oil.

Institutional Framework

Laws 3175/2003 and 3734/2009 have created the conditions for research, exploitation and management of the country’s geothermal capacity. Furthermore, heat and power cogeneration is being developed.

The restrictions of Law 3851/2010 promote the implementation and use of geothermal energy and determine the prices of electricity produced from geothermal energy. 

For more information, interested parties can contact CRES and ESEGEPE (Hellenic Association of Geothermal Energy and Alternative Energy Sources Companies). As regards the applications and the licensing procedure for large geothermal electricity generation systems, investors should contact the RAE.