János Szanyi:

"Geothermal sector has 5 to 8 years to prove its competitiveness"

EFG’s Panels of Experts (PE) have been set up to provide high-quality advice and information to the European institutions, to international NGOs and to other global professional associations. EFG has currently 10 Panels of Experts active in the fields of CCS, Education, Geological Heritage, Geotechnics, Geothermal Energy, Hydrogeology, Natural Hazards, Minerals, Oil & Gas and Soil Protection. The Panels involve more than 200 voluntary experts from over 20 different countries and all aim at emphasising the importance of geology to society, the benefits of incorporating geological advice and to promote the importance of the geoscientific profession.

To raise awareness about the existence of these Panels of Experts, EFG is presenting its coordinators in a new interview series. In July 2018, they have talked to János Szanyi, the coordinator of the Panel on Geothermal Energy.

How would you define the role of geothermal energy in Europe’s energy mix today?
The importance of the heating and cooling sector is bigger than that of the electricity generation sector. It derives from the geological background so this situation reflects reality. The problem is the too small portion of geothermal sectors from the energy mix, which are deeply under the potential except for few countries.

How do you evaluate future perspectives for the geothermal energy sector?
The geothermal energy is one of the greenest resources with a very low CO2 emission level. Due to the Research & Development investments, the exploration/exploitation risks and drilling costs will be reduced in the deep geothermal sector. Furthermore, the new technologies in the oil and gas sector are improving the geothermal sector as well.

How do you see the future role of geoscientists in your field of expertise, for example, 20 years ahead from now?
The geothermal sector has a timeframe of no longer than 5 to 8 years to prove its competitiveness against solar and wind energy. So, the technical breakthrough will have to take place in the next 10 years, otherwise geothermal will be far behind the other renewables.

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