The GEOCOM project was launched in 2010 with a vision to increase the visibility of direct heat applications of geothermal energy throughout Europe. This 11 million euro project, funded under the FP7, demonstrated a wide array of research and demonstration components to provide not only firsthand experience for the communities involved in the project, but also to feed the international scientific community with valuable results related to the currently pressing geothermal matters such as reinjection into sandstone reservoirs and trans-boundary utilisation of geothermal aquifers.
Project demonstration sites
The key activities and issues covered by the GEOCOM project were as follows:
- Pilot scale demonstration works on geothermal energy applications for heating in three different municipalities: Galanta (Slovakia), Montieri (Italy), and Mórahalom (Hungary). Geothermal uses were integrated with some other renewable energy sources (RES) in order to outline ways of more efficient and more sustainable energy production. In some cases an additional focus was the trapping of methane from ground water for energy production. For all pilot installations the energy efficiency measures were applied by thermal retrofitting and optimisation. An efficient monitoring system was applied to the demonstration activities;
- Technological research on the integration, optimisation and applications of energy systems, to help the demonstration activities of the project become more efficient;
- Socio– economic research on the public perception and understanding of geothermal energy, other renewables and measures promoting the rational use of energy to ease the preparation of similar future projects;
- Transboundary issues on the exploitation of geothermal energy (based on the example of the geothermal reservoirs situated within the territories of Hungary and Serbia);
- Pro-active training and dissemination activities;
- Initiating and facilitating the networking of interested communities in the GEOCOM and other European countries by setting up the Mayors Geothermal Club.