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Increasing policy makers' awareness and the public acceptance - Athens, Greece, Workshop6
Increasing policy makers' awareness and the public acceptance - Athens, Greece, Workshop6
13-14 September 2007 Hotel Holiday Inn, Athens, Greece
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Geothermal district heating (GDH) in the Paris Basin was initiated, in the late 
1960s, on the emblematic Melun l'Almont site, South of Paris, pioneering the 
well doublet concept of heat mining. This design was extended later to the 
Paris suburban areas, leading to the completion of 53 GDH grids of which 34 
remain on line to date, supplying yearly 1,000 GWht to over 100,000 equivalent 
dwellings, thus suppressing ca 500,000 tons of CO2 atmospheric emissions.
The initial stimulus was provided under a private enterprise scheme, a joint 
venture associating a heating service company and an equipment 
supplier /installer, irrespective of any energy price crisis whatsoever.
Development follow-up, further to the first and second oil shocks, could be 
achieved thanks to a thorough, massive, involvement of the French State 
addressing relevant pre-feasibility /feasibility assessments, legal/institutional, 
mining risk/insurance, loan/financing, supporting measures. GDH grids, most of 
them operated by public entities (townships, social dwelling agencies), serviced 
social dwelling buildings and public offices and educational/recreational facilities.
From early infancy diseases to teen and mature age, GDH experienced a critical 
learning curve period (mid 1980s-mid 1990s). Only could the "stakeholder" 
supporting policy, pursued during the early exploitation stages, enable GDH to 
survive and overcome severe technical, and more over, managerial and 
financial shortcomings in an adverse, high debt/equity ratio, low income, 
economic environment.
Needless to say, during this critical period GDH built a poor image. It was 
perceived by end users as an expensive, poorly reliable technology leading 
occasionally to troublesome, noisy, smoky and foul-smelling heavy maintenance 
(well workover) operations. Simultaneously, GDH, delicate euphemism, received 
a weak support from two major stakeholders, public energy (power, natural 
gas) utilities, sought as competitors (electric, individual gas heating) rather 
than partners in spite of profitable returns from GDH supplies/sales (ca 70,000 
MWhe and 350,000 MWht respectively).
Summing up, until recently, there had been little interest from the public and 
the media towards geothermal energy and GDH issues. Indifference, at the 
best, prevailed instead. Long regarded as an exotic curiosity of limited energy 
impact, GDH is progressively gaining consideration from authorities and 
stakeholders, sympathy and awareness from the Public, echoes from the media.

This is a consequence of growing environmental clean air concerns, oil and gas 
prices escalation, correlated GHG emissions vs global warming evidence and, 
last but not least, a credit paid to both managerial and entrepreneurial maturity 
of GDH operators and efforts of the geothermal community at large in bridging 
a long noticed communication gap and attracting wider social acceptance.
The latter resulted in increased lobbying among concerned, local/regional 
authorities and national/EU institutions and communication streams via open 
door events, stakeholder informative meetings, news/press releases, well 
documented topical websites/homepages, training/educational short courses 
and lectures (universities, engineering schools), school teaching staff briefings, 
primary/high school "initiation to GE "games and tests…
Worth mentioning are the changes, compared to their previously, poorly 
motivated, wait and see attitude, noticed within the energy utilities, advocating 
their, recently discovered, dedication to REs. As a result, (i) attractive natural 
gas prices could be negotiated by GDH operators to meet their relief/back up 
natural gas demands, and (ii) support to heat pump designed systems 
provided by the power utility.
Such actions should be maintained and further initiatives promoted in order to 
perpetuate and extend the present GDH scheme in a sustainable geothermal 
resource management vision, targeted fifty years ahead from now. This 
requires an increased participation of all concerned parties, ad-hoc policy 
makers/executive agencies, enlarged stakeholders' involvement, local township 
commitments and interactive communication between the operators and the 
Id: 13
Place: Hotel Holiday Inn, Athens, Greece
50 Michalacopoulou st, 11528, Athens
Room: Cosmos B, C
Starting date:
13-Sep-2007   10:00
Duration: 20'
Primary Authors: Mr. UNGEMACH, Pierre (GPC Instrumentation Process (GPC IP))
Presenters: Mr. UNGEMACH, Pierre
Material: slides Slides

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