Over 90 members and guests attended the Members' Meeting 'Geothermal, worth the investment' on 24 November. In two panel discussions, experiences with, among other things, the financability and affordability of geothermal energy were shared with the audience. In between, participants in the room were asked for their opinions on various statements using Mentimeter. The sector aims to quadruple the contribution of geothermal energy by 2030. To make this possible, it needs, among other things, a stable investment climate. How do you sustain existing projects? Are there solutions to the chicken-and-egg problem of sourcing and building a new heat network? And how attractive is it for banks to invest in geothermal?
The development of a geothermal project and a new heat grid involves the so-called 'chicken-and-egg problem.' How can we ensure that geothermal is given smarter financial support and thus manages to bridge the heat grid's ingrowth phase?
Presentations by Ennatuurlijk, ECW, and Aardyn provided insight into these issues. In which the takeover of ECW Energy's geothermal activities by Ennatuurlijk also showed the growth potential of geothermal heat, both for greenhouse horticulture and the built environment. Aardyn provided insight into how financial decisions in different parts of the heat chain directly affect each other. Hans Bolscher then entered into a discussion with panelists from Vattenfall, the municipality of Almere, and Aardyn on the choice of geothermal in a resource strategy - with the financial attractiveness of geothermal as a decisive factor. About smart solutions to better cover the (financial) risks when developing a geothermal source. And on the importance of cooperation with various stakeholders, including municipalities.
The second part of the afternoon gave an insight into the financial challenges that many early-stage geothermal projects are currently facing. High energy prices and complicated market conditions due to the war in Ukraine mean that existing projects are in dire straits.
How different project financing looks these days is made clear by the presentation 'ING's perspective on the geothermal sector,' of which the financing for geothermal heat Maasdijk - a construction with four banks - is a good example. The discussion with panelists from Rabobank, ING, and Meewind clarified the perspective of banks and investors on the financial value of geothermal. With a focused compliment to the sector on its increasing professionalism and lessons learned. For that is noted, with improvement in project development, geothermal is increasingly fundable for investors.
The presentations given can be downloaded here.