grafika ilustracyjnaOn the 20th-22nd of September 2021, Katowice hosted the next edition of Central Europe's largest business event - the 13th European Economic Congress. Energy transformation was among the main themes of the event. 

Congress participants debated about Poland's long-term energy policy, renewable energy sources (RES) and investments in low-emission sources. A representative from the Polish Geological Institute - NRI also spoke on the latter issue.

During the three days of the 13th European Economic Congress in Katowice over 100 debates took place with the participation of more than 500 speakers and 9,000 participants. Thematic sessions and accompanying events were covered by nearly a hundred media companies, while the recording of the Congress debates were replayed online over 290,000 times. Undoubtedly, the event provided an excellent forum to present the advantages and prospects for the development of low-temperature geothermics and ground source heat pumps.

During the session "Geothermics as part of the energy transition", of which PGI-NRI was a partner, a debate was held on low-temperature geothermics. The discussion was carried out in a "2:1" formula and included: Grzegorz Ryżyński (Head of the Low-Temperature Geothermics Team at PGI-NRI’s Department of Engineering Geology) and Paweł Lachman (President of the Polish Heat Pump Technology Development Organization PORT PC). The discussion was led by Grzegorz Burek - editor-in-chief of GLOBEnergia and Vice-President of the Photovoltaic Industry Association - PV Poland (pol. Stowarzyszenie Branży Fotowoltanicznej – Polska PV).

Rozmowa podczas Europejskiego Kongresu Gospodarczego o geotermii niskotemperaturowej

Debate on low-temperature geothermics during the 13th European Economic Congress in Katowice. From the right: Paweł Lachman, Grzegorz Ryżyński and Grzegorz Burek

UThe participants debated important issues related to low-temperature geothermics:

  • Will geothermics become a significant player in Poland among the other RES and contribute to improving air quality?
  • Is decarbonization and replacing coal boilers with ground source heat pumps a chance for the Polish economy?
  • What conditions should be met for ground source heat pumps to become an important element of decarbonization of heating in the construction industry?
  • What are the challenges for the low-temperature geothermics industry?
  • Can the use of ground source heat pump systems and photovoltaics bring synergies?

Low-temperature geothermics uses the heat from the Earth from about 100-200 meters below the surface. In our climate zone, the annual average temperature of such layers is about 10 degrees Celsius, constituting a potential source of both heat and cold (depending on the season). Geothermal energy is obtained through ground source heat pumps - by September 2021, over 67,000 such devices had already been installed in Poland.

The Polish Geological Institute – NRI which implements the tasks of the Polish Geological Survey (PSG), has been cooperating with the Polish Organization for the Development of Heat Pump Technology (PORT PC) since 2014. The aim of the cooperation is a dynamic, sustainable and environmentally safe development of low-temperature geothermics and ground source heat pump technologies.

Joint activities are being conducted with a goal, to changing the legal regulations concerning the development of geological fieldwork projects and of as-built documentation for borehole heat exchangers. PGI-NRI actively participates in works of the PORT PC Underground Sources Division (pol. Sekcja Dolnych Źródeł), which prepares guidelines for the industry concerning, among others, the installation of ground heat exchangers. Efforts are being made to launch the national certification system for drillers and designers of low-temperature geothermal systems. The databases and maps of geothermal potential, which are made by PGI-PIB, allow for the implementation of local strategies for the installing ground source heat pumps.

Other complementary activities carried out by PGI-NRI and PORT PC include education, technology promotion and specialized training.

See: Video recording of the ECG 2021 session entitled. "Geothermics in the energy transition with the participation of an expert from the Polish Geological Institute - NRI"

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Session XIII of the European Economic Congress entitled "Geothermics in the energy transformation”. "Geothermics in the energy transformation" was organized as part of the project titled the "Domestic cooperation in the field of geology and promotion of activities of the Polish Geological Survey in the years 2021 - 2023" and was financed from the resources of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management