01 Oct 2019

CROWDTHERMAL kick off meeting in Brussels

CROWDTHERMAL is a new project funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°857830) which aims to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects with the help of alternative financing schemes such as crowdfunding and social engagement tools. The 36-months project has held its kick-off meeting in Brussels, hosted by the European Federation of Geologists, on 23 and 24 September 2019. One of the major drivers of CROWDTHERMAL is to support the EU’s strategic objective to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, to create a stable energy market, and to reduce the environmental impact of its energy supply.

The meeting started with a welcoming address, partner introduction. The first presentation was the Coordinator, Isabel Fernández, about the Vision of the project, followed by the presentation by INEA’s project officer, Dimitrios SOFIANOPOULOS, who described the EU context and expectations from the project implementation: “high-quality deliverables/output, in time!”. The next session was about the introduction of each Work Package: WP1 – Addressing the bottlenecks of public engagement for community based geothermal development (Jan Hildebrand, IZES), WP2 – Community-based geothermal energy financing principles (Ronald Kleverlaan, CFH), WP3 – Auxiliary and alternative pathways to risk mitigation (Christina Baisch, GeoT), WP4 – Integrated development schemes (Adrienn Cseko, LPRC), WP5 – Case studies (Ana Casillas, GEOPLAT).

The project is coordinated by the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), and the CROWDTHERMAL concept will be implemented by a consortium of 10 partners from 7 European countries, combining extensive experience in large-scale geothermal project development, alternative finance, social media engagement, innovation, education, and international networking on geothermal energy: European Federation of GeologistsInstitute for Future Energy SystemsUniversity of GlasgowGeoThermal Engineering GmbHLa Palma Research CentreCrowdfundingHubSzeged District Heating CoSpanish Geothermal Technology PlatformGEORG – Geothermal Research ClusterEimur.

The second day was dedicated to three topics. First a round table discussion on WPs 1-6 regarding the methodology and overall task distribution, deliverables and milestones, communication). The second topic was the presentation of WP6 – Dissemination and stakeholder involvement, by Anita Stein (EFG), which was followed by WP7 – Project Management, introduced by Isabel Fernandez, EFG.

Next time the partners are going to meet in the Canaries, hosted by La Palma Research Centre, around February-March, 2020.