Recommends Itself Warmly
Valves used in the geothermal sector need to be as tough as it gets. In the past, many pumps failed to cope with the hostile environment of this form of energy production, causing tremendous costs. Today, the sector is transforming. Special valves are being produced in series that can make use of geothermal heat.
All signs point towards global growth for geothermal energy - and on a major scale. Many countries will "being to make use of geothermal energy, others will continue to expand this form of energy," predicts the Bundesverband Geothermie (BVG), the German Geothermal Association.
In 2015, worldwide heat production grew 39 percent compared to 2010, according to the "Country Reports", to a total of ca. 70,300 MWt (megawatts thermal). China even doubled its installed capacity to around 17,900 MWt. India recorded growth of 272 percent to nearly 1,000 MWt in the same period, while the USA grew 38 percent to ca. 17,415 MWt, France 74 percent to around 2,350 MWt and Germany by 14 percent to 2,850 MWt. Thailand grew strongest, namely 5,060 percent, which brought capacity to "just" 129 MWt.
Worldwide geothermal power capacity also grew from 2010 to 2015, albeit not as strongly. Geothermal energy production grew by 16 percent to a total of 12,600 MWt installed capacity. In the USA, geothermal energy advanced 11 percent to 3,450 MWt, in Mexico by 6 percent to slightly above 1,000 MWt, in Kenia by 194 percent to around 600 MWt, in Germany by 280 percent to 27 MWt, while Italy here increased by 9 percent to nearly 920 MWt. Today, geothermal power plants can be found in 24 countries around the globe, generating energy from heat.
Demand for geothermal energy is growing in Germany, due to the energy transition. Geothermal energy is supposed to augment the mix of renewable forms of energy, generated by solar and wind power. Germany has already embarked on its path - 30 plants are currently in planning, two are being constructed and four will serve as research projects. They will expand on the 33 plants already in operation. Geothermal energy has a major advantage compared to other forms of renewable energy, namely "that it is constantly available, regardless of weather conditions or the time of day or year," as the Munich City Utilities (SWM) state.
The time has thus come for change, as all sectors connected to geothermal energy recognised several years ago. In the past, operators of geothermal power plants were forced to use pumps for oil and gas industries, which weren't designed to meet the requirements of geothermal energy. "Compared to the crude oil sector, pumps used for geothermal energy have to date been not very efficient, and show signs of wear at an early stage," reports BINE Information Service, published by the FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure GmbH, which is in parts funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Messe München