The mission of the Horizon 2020 funded CROWDTHERMAL project is to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects, with the help of alternative financing schemes and social engagement tools. The project team has developed a set of reports, addressing social, environmental, financial, and risk mitigation aspects of community-financed geothermal projects.

The objective is to turn CROWDTHERMAL into a one-stop-shop for enquiries about empowerment in geothermal projects through community funding.

The project organised its first international conference on 7 April 2022 in a virtual format.

Opening session

Geothermal energy to decarbonise cities

Financing of Geothermal projects

Social Engagement in Geothermal projects


The project team is currently finalising a set of core services with regard to the alternative financing of geothermal projects. These services encompass environmental studies, financial aspects, financial risk mitigation, social sciences, and the geothermal sector. The core services will assist the geothermal sector, contributing to an accelerated market development in Europe.

CROWDTHERMAL aims to provide services to:

  • Communities of citizens keen to become actors in the energy transition process. The benefits for these communities could be economical or environmental.
  • Geothermal project developers interested in involving the community to increase commitment and/or fundraising.
  • Local authorities interested in involving the community to develop a Sustainable Energy (and Climate) Action Plan 2030.

Therefore, the main objective of the CROWDTHERMAL First International Conference was to present the core services to the pre-identified target groups, and to receive feedback and input for their further improvement.


09:30 – Welcome

  • Áurea Perucho, Director of CEDEX
  • Margarita de Gregorio, GEOPLAT Coordinator
  • Isabel Fernández Fuentes, CROWDTHERMAL project Coordinator – Download slides

10:00 – Keynote speech ‘Geothermal in the energy transition and the role of the society’ (Francisca Rivero, Secretary General at IDAE)


Geothermal energy to decarbonise cities

Moderator: János Szanyi, CROWDTHERMAL Advisory Board member

10:20 – Present and future of geothermal energy in Europe: the Vision of the city of the future

Adele Manzella, Researcher at CNR-IGG,  ETIP-DG, CROWDTHERMAL Advisory Board – Download slides 

10:35 – Geothermal DHC, contribution to decarbonising cities

Gregor Götzl, Coordinator of Geothermal DHC Cost Action – Download slides 

10:50 – Geothermal in district heating, examples from CROWDTHERMAL case studies in Hungary

Szeged DH: Tamás Medgyes, District Heating Company of Szeged – SZDH – Download slides 

Mórahalom DH: Gábor Bozsó, INNOGEO – Download slides 

11:10 – Geothermal energy in civil construction

Fernando Pardo, Director, Geotechnical laboratory, CEDEX – Download slides 

11:25 – Q&A

11:40 – Coffee break


Financing of Geothermal projects

Moderator: Matthias Toennis, CROWDTHERMAL Advisory Board member

12:00 – Geothermal projects financing, challenges and economic benefits

Thomas Garabetian, EGEC – Download slides 

12:15 – Geothermal energy in the NextGeneration funds in Spain

Maite Fernández de Retana, IDAE – Download slides 

12:30 – Alternative financial schemes and risk mitigation for geothermal projects

Ronald Kleverlaan, CFH, and Christina Baisch, GeoT – Download slides 

12:45 – Geothermal in buildings cooperatives, Example of the community fund CROWDTHERMAL Case Study 2

Marcel Hendricks, EAI310 Cooperative, Spain – Download slides 

13:00 – Q&A

13:30 – Lunch break


Social Engagement in Geothermal projects

Moderator: Susana Batel, CROWDTHERMAL Advisory Board member

14:30 – Social acceptance problems in the Strasbourg’ Geothermal Energy project

Gerard Pol-Gili, Head of Renewable energies Strasbourg – Download slides 

14:45 – Geothermal social perception

Jan Hildebrand, IZES – Download slides 

15:00 – Geothermal Social Licence to Operate

Amel Barich, GEORG – Download slides 

15:15 – Local authorities working with the community, CROWDTHERMAL Case Study 3 in Iceland

Ottó Elíasson or Sesselja Ingibjörg, EIMUR – Download slides 

15:30 – Q&A

15:45 – Coffee break



Moderator: Isabel Fernandez, Project Coordinator

16:15 – CROWDTHERMAL Services for communities, local authorities and project developers

Marcio Tameirao, LPRC – Download slides 

16:30 – Panel discussion with representatives from the 3 stakeholder groups:

  • Energy community (Aniol Esquerra, Ecoserveis)
  • Local authorities (Joaquin Villar, Junta de Andalucia and Gerard Pol-Gili, Head of Renewable energies Strasbourg)
  • Project developers (Gábor Bozsó, INNOGEO)
  • Real-estate developers (Alberto García, Via Celere)

17:15 – Wrap-up and conclusions (Margarita de Gregorio, GEOPLAT) & Future of CROWDTHERMAL (Isabel Fernandez, Project Coordinator)

17:30 – Closing the conference