The first Spanish Geothermal Association, GEOENERGY, is born

May 22th 2024

GEOENERGY

GEOPLAT, Spanish Technology and Innovation Platform in Geothermal Energy, presented its spin-off at the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE): the Spanish Geothermal Association, GEENERGÍA, which was born with the mission of being the voice of the geothermal sector in Spain. GEOENERGÍA will accompany companies towards the progress of their businesses and will work for the development of the entire sector by promoting a regulatory, political and social framework that favors the sustainable implementation of geothermal energy in the territories, creating industry and providing environmental and socioeconomic value.

Margaret of Gregory, general secretary of GEOPLAT and CEO of GEONERGÍA, announced this new vehicle, which arises to join forces in the success of projects in the geothermal sector, in addition to maximizing its visibility and opportunities. The REPowerEU Plan has put into context that the ambitious environmental and energy objectives established in the European Union and Spain require the participation of all renewable sources and that geothermal energy is essential in the decarbonization of energy uses, both electrical and thermal.

To which is added the support given by the European Parliament with the resolution approved at the beginning of 2024, unanimously requiring a European strategy for geothermal energy that reduces administrative burdens and promotes investments in construction, industry and agriculture; a geothermal industrial alliance to achieve effective implementation of the legislation and a harmonized plan for risk mitigation. Furthermore, it encourages Member States to design national geothermal strategies (such as those of the French, German, Polish, Austrian, Croatian and Irish governments) and to promote the just transition of coalfields through the development of geothermal energy (as is being done HUNOSA in Spain).

All of this has highlighted the need for a business association in Spain that brings together the private sector and defends its interests in the regulatory and market spheres. Along these lines, De Gregorio stated that, among its priorities, GEOENERGY will work on regulatory and political proposals, design strategies to promote the development of the sector in a sustainable manner, promote knowledge about geothermal energy, facilitate market intelligence, and make visible the agents that operate in the sector and its facilities, will establish synergies and alliances with key agents that stimulate the advancement of the sector and will keep the sector informed for strategic decision making.

Support from Public Administrations for the creation of GEENERGY

GEENERGÍA arises with the support of Public Administrations, among them IDAE, institution attached to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, which hosted the presentation event. Its general director, Joan Groizard, opened the event and expressed the suitability of the Association in the face of the “exciting” moment that geothermal energy is experiencing and the “maturity and knowledge” of GEOPLAT to promote it. Groizard stressed the potential of this inexhaustible energy source, the importance of increasing its use and the first deep geothermal surveys that will be carried out in Spain.

For her part, Ana Mª Lancha, head of the Energy area of ​​the Scientific and Technical Thematic Programs Branch of the State Research Agency (AEI), attached to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, He also valued positively the creation of GEOENERGY, indicating that “today is a big day for the entire geothermal sector.” Lancha explained the state support that currently exists to promote the transfer of knowledge and collaboration for the development of geothermal energy.

Paloma Pérez, coordinator of GEOPLAT, presented the Platform's new action plan, which will offer more value to its members. To this end, GEOPLAT will bring together all public-private agents that operate in the field of R&D&I in the geothermal sector, identify entities, capacities and facilities in the sector, collaborate with public administrations and adapt its services to the current needs through scientific-technical seminars, sectoral conferences and documentation for training and knowledge of the geothermal sector.

GEOPLAT and GEENERGÍA will be integrated into the State Geothermal Network, which will connect all public-private agents in the geothermal sector. The Network will increase the visibility of the sector through Geo MApp, the largest visual database of entities in the field of geothermal energy in Spain, which has public access.

Keys to the development of geothermal energy in Spain

The GEOPLAT Assembly was also a key event for the participation of professionals and experts from the geothermal sector, who offered their vision on the development opportunities of geothermal energy in the country.

In the round table 'Research, innovation and training in geothermal energy, keys to its development', Paula Fernández-Canteli Álvarez (Geological and Mining Institute of Spain – IGME), Celestino García de la Noceda (IGME), Ignasi Herms (Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya) and Perla Piña-Varas (Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences of the University of Barcelona) analyzed the inflection point that geothermal energy is experiencing. They stressed the need to innovate, for public-private collaboration and to have more data about the sector, its capabilities and the projects carried out financed by public funds.

Alfredo Garzón Gómez (General Subdirectorate of Energy Efficiency of MITERD) and Carmen López Ocón (Department of Geothermal Energy of IDAE) addressed 'Geothermal energy, energy and efficiency' in the Public Administrations panel. Those responsible assumed the importance of the principle of technological neutrality and of not creating barriers to energies such as geothermal, with great qualities for the remodeling and new construction of buildings. 

Sector professionals Álvaro Arnáiz (Repsol), Iñigo Arrizabalaga (TELUR), Javier Caballero (HUNOSA) and Alberto Ferradás García (Ecoforest) participated in the round table 'Present and future of geothermal energy'. They highlighted the excellent perspectives and great challenges facing the geothermal business sector.

The event closed with a tribute to Celestino García de la Noceda, for his retirement from the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME), who was named Honorary President of GEOPLAT for his outstanding professional career, contribution to the Platform from his beginnings and its commitment to the development of the geothermal sector in Spain.

Photo: Margarita de Gregorio, Celestino García de la Noceda, Carmen López, Paloma Pérez, Ana Mª Lancha and Iñigo Arrizabalaga.

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