The CROWDTHERMAL project has held its kick-off meeting in Brussels, on 23 and 24 September 2019. CROWDTHERMAL is funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°857830), and 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. 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 main objective of the meeting was to gather all partners and start the implementation of the first three Work Packages:
- WP1 – Addressing the bottlenecks of public engagement for community-based geothermal development,
- WP2 – Community-based geothermal energy financing principles,
- WP3 -Auxiliary and alternative pathways to risk mitigation.
The meeting started with welcoming address, the introduction of each partners, and followed by a presentation by the Coordinator, Isabel Fernández, about the Vision of the project, and its structure, timeline and objectives. The next item was 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 dedicated to the introduction of each Work Package.
Led by the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), CROWDTHERMAL 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 Geologists
- Institute for Future Energy Systems
- University of Glasgow
- GeoThermal Engineering GmbH
- La Palma Research Centre
- Szeged District Heating Co
- Spanish Geothermal Technology Platform
- GEORG – Geothermal Research Cluster
The second day was dedicated to three topics. First a round table discussion on WPs 1-6 (Methodology and overall task distribution, Deliverables and Milestones, Communication), as a continuation of the first day. The second topic was the presentation of WP6 – Dissemination and stakeholder involvement, by Anita Stein, EFG. The third topic was the about WP7 – Project Management, introduced by Isabel Fernandez, EFG.
Next time the partners are going to meet in the Canarias, hosted by La Palma Research Centre, around February-March, 2020. By this time the first milestone is intended to be fulfilled: Case study assessment protocol delivered in M6, and Validated by Case Study representatives, approval by Advisory Board.Until then, stay tuned with the development of the CROWDTHERMAL at the project’s social media channels!