BURIED TREASURE, RENEWABLE, UNTAPPED, GREEN, SUSTAINABLE - these are only a few of epithtets that usually accompany references to geothermal energy. Greece is fortunate to be endowed with geothermal fields, yet regrettably very few investments have been made , either in the power production or agrofood productions sectors.
According to Dr Petros Tzeferis, Director in the Ministy of Enviroment and Energy, dending on the temperature of the geothermal fluids there are three categories of investment projects relating to geothermal energy: High temperature (>90 C) low temperature (25-90 C) and cooling - heating projects using geothermal heat pumps, also referred to as shallow geothermal energy (SGE).
In the wider region of Central Macedonia the main fields, with water temperatures of up to 75 C , are located in the basin of lakes Volvi and Lagada and the Strymonaw river basin. The installed power for this category is approximately 100MWt, more than half of which is located in the Lagadas, Nea Apollonia, Nigrita, Sidirokastro and Xanthi regions.
The total installed of the direct geothermal energy uses in Greece is estimated at 240 MWt , which means geothermal energy has a very small, almost disheartening share of the total production og Renewable Energy Sources in Greece, amounting to less than 1%.
The main obstacles in the path of geothermal energy development are primarily caused by the complex legislative framework, which requires the designation and leasing og geothrmal fields via international highest bidder competitions, something that does not apply for the simpler investments of installing geothermal heat pumps, where the process is more straigtforward and doesn't involve competitions or leases. Such a time - consuming, complex and demanding process does not offer itself for the small investor of farmer, but neither, as it appears, has it proven productive for larger investment structures.
AGROTICA fair: a point of reference
It is precisely this gap that AGROTICA, the leading exhibition event in the agricultural sector in South - East Europe , held at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre for the 26th time from 28-31 January 2016, comes to fill.
Advantages of geothermal energy
1)It is safe reliable, with low operating costs and a constant flow
2)It is available 24/7 year round and, unlike wind and solar power , is not affected by weather conditions.
3)It is developed mainly in lowland areas with excellent prospects for use in modern farming, the agricultural industry , fish farming, urban uses, heating, etc.
4)It can contribute to the development of agrotourism and ecotourism, and offers a medium for conteporary and alternative forms of tourism (swimming pools, thermal baths, etc.).
5)It is clean and inviromentally friendly form of power ,particularly compared to conventional forms, and the effect of its exploitation on the enviroment is minimal to nil