During the last years a rapid growth of prices was observed for traditional sources of energy, such as the natural gas, oil and petroleum derivatives both in the world and in Belarus. In this relation, the actual problem of power engineering became to use local sources of fuels and renewable sources of energy, accessible in the country.
The geothermal energy, available within entrails of Belarus, belongs to one of such sources. The first eight low capacity geothermal installations, based on the heat pumps technology, were already put into operation in the country. They use groundwater with low temperature, typically below 10 ºC. Five installations are under exploitation mainly within water supply works in Minsk and the Minsk district. They use groundwater from shallow boreholes as a primary heat source for heat pumps. The total heat capacity of such installations is around 0.6 MWt. All existing heat pump systems are used for heating of buldings.
One installation is under exploitation in the north-eastern part of the country, near the Polotsk town, uses the water from the Zapadnaya Dvina river as a primary source for a heat pump and one more installation was constructed in the southern part of Belarus, in the vicinity of the Mozyr town. During 2006 a heat pump installation was put into operation at the frontier point “Novaya Ruta” at the Belarus - Ukraine border.
The peak capacity of all geothermal installations, operating in Belarus now, is around 1.5 MWt. At present the works are undertaken to create a pilot geothermal station in the western part of the country in the urban area of Brest town for heating of the greenhouse complex “Berestye”. A borehole was drilled here to receive a warm water. Tests showed that it is possible to pump out a fresh water with the content of dissolved chemicals around 0.6 gramme per litre from the depth up to 1000 m with the themperature at the hole mouth around 25 ºC. It is planned to project and construct here a geothermal station with the installed capacity around 1.5 MWt.