geothermal energy is arousing renewed interest in France

Clean streets, brand new buildings, quite chic shops… Welcome to Cœur de Ville, the new eco-district of Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine). A “piece of town” on a former tertiary wasteland, which combines social and residential housing, 40,000 square meters of offices, around thirty shops, a cinema and a crèche. With a particularity: a heater that captures the heat of the earth. “More than 73% of heating is renewable thanks to geothermal energy”says Christelle Rougebief, director of Engie Solutions Ile-de-France, who carried out the work during the rehabilitation of the site. “It’s possible thanks to the proximity of the Seine and the water tables of the Paris Basin. »

Read also: Geothermal energy, a pillar of the energy transition in Alsace

Here there are neither volcanoes nor geysers. The network of this suburb is hiding in the second basement of a parking lot. There, two wells pump water from groundwater, 35 meters deep, to reinject it into two other wells and supply the district’s heating system. One floor higher is the small production room, a veritable intertwining of pipes. “These heat pumps capture the calories from the water, like a heat pump. They can both make it hot and cold. This is the advantage here, because it is reversible”explains the manager.

Booming in the 1970s, particularly in Ile-de-France, geothermal energy came to a halt following the collapse of oil prices in the 1980s. While countries such as Switzerland, Sweden or Germany have taken it up more, France has shown little interest in it, so that geothermal energy today represents only 1% of its heat consumption.

Review production targets

“In theory, the potential is immense, underlines an adviser to the Ministry of Energy Transition. In total, 90% of the territory could use surface geothermal energy, individuals in their gardens or at the foot of buildings, for example”. Similarly, according to him, France has many deep aquifers that, because of the climate and energy crisis, it is more necessary than ever to explore. Particularly in Aquitaine, in the PACA region and in Hauts-de-France.

Hence the launch, on February 2, of a government plan aimed at also accelerating this source of energy. Objectives: increase the number of deep geothermal energy projects launched by 40% by 2030, and double the number of geothermal heat pump installations in private homes before 2025 (200,000 to date).

You have 56.38% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

source site-30