ECN publication
Geothermal energy and the SDE
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 20-4-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--11-022 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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On behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I), ECN and KEMA performed a scoping study of technical-economic parameters of geothermal heat and power (combined heat and power, CHP) in the Netherlands. The geothermal heat costs, based on three reference geothermal heat plants and calculations with the ECN SDE cashflowmodel, range from 32.5 €/MWhth for an existing district heating system to 39.6 €/MWhth for a new-built district heating system. For hydrothermal geothermal CHP, based on an Organic Rankine Cycle, a relatively deep geothermal source (4000 m) and a green field district heating system, the price of electricity is 38.6 €ct/kWh, in which the produced heat was valued against a reference gas-fired boiler with a gas price of 19 €ct/m3 and a conversion efficiency of 90%. Furthermore, it is shown that the presence of a high soil temperature-gradient, a higher geothermal flow rate or the existence of a nearby large heat demand can significantly lower the cost of geothermal electricity generation. EGS can potentially lower the cost of electricity generation to the range of 5 - 10 €ct/kWh, though this type of geothermal application is still in demonstration phase. The study also gives an estimate of the electricity price based on a combination of geothermal power plants in Iceland and a long HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) cable to the Netherlands. This price is €92/MWh (9.2 €ct/kWh). This price has to be used with care, as it is a base load renewable option which is on the one side rather cost-effective compared to a number of other indigenous renewable electricity options but on the other side (as a base load option) is quite different from intermittent renewable options (wind and solar electricity).

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