What is geothermal energy?

How geothermal energy works

Geothermal energy or geothermal heat is energy stored as heat below the earth's surface. EWG is a pioneer in deep geothermal energy and has decades of experience.

Geothermal treasure under Munich and the surrounding area

The geological conditions for the use of geothermal energy are excellent in Munich and the region. Deep beneath our feet is a huge reservoir of hot thermal water. From this we can generate environmentally friendly heat – and because the temperatures are so high here, even additional electricity.

Unlike most other renewable energies, geothermal energy is a base-load energy that is crisis proof and available practically around the clock.

Geothermal energy pays off. For you, for the environment, for all of us.


Meters depth of the production well


Temperature of pumped water


Litres / second of delivery

This is how geothermal energy is obtained

The hot water is pumped to the surface via boreholes and passed through heat exchangers, transferring the energy extracted in the process to a district heating network. The cooled thermal water is returned to the same layers via injection wells.

When geothermal energy is extracted, this heat is mined like a deposit; geothermal energy therefore falls under mining law. When properly managed, this heat is virtually inexhaustible, which is why geothermal heat is considered a "renewable energy."

The temperature underground rises by about 3 degrees Celsius every 100 metres. At a depth of three kilometres, that's well over 100 degrees Celsius. If there are also water-bearing layers down there – as in the Malmkarst region of Upper Bavaria – these are ideal conditions for using this renewable energy: for heating (and cooling), for generating electricity or in a combined heat and power system.

Geothermal energy has many advantages

The Laufzorn geothermal source is inexhaustible, and we use state-of-the-art technology to harness its energy. In this way, we are taking the security of supply in our own hands. By using local Bavarian energy that lies beneath our feet.

Geothermal energy significantly reduces the need for fossil fuels – crude oil is only needed for redundancy, i.e. on particularly cold winter days when additional heating is required or when maintenance work on the heating plant / district heating network necessitates a brief shutdown. We are thus sustainably increasing our independence from the fossil fuels oil and natural gas, which are finite anyway.

Through CO2-free heat production from geothermal energy, we are making a sustainable contribution to the energy transition. The climate concerns us all – so everyone benefits from Geothermie Laufzorn.

Our energy technology systems in Laufzorn need electricity. Since the end of December 2016, we have been generating this electricity ourselves in our combined heat and power plant. In addition, we have been generating green electricity from geothermal energy in our ORC power plant since the end of 2014, which we feed directly into the public grid.

Geothermal energy is a so-called base load energy. Unlike wind, which does not always blow, and sun, which does not always shine, geothermal energy is available around the clock. Weather independent, crisis proof. An advantage that makes geothermal energy an integral part of our heat supply.

The efficiency of geothermal energy is close to 100% – the water passes on its heat via heat exchangers to the next water cycle. Hardly any heat energy is lost in the process. The technology for using geothermal energy is highly efficient.

Geothermal energy takes up little space – both where the energy is generated and where you use it.

Compare the size of the Laufzorn heating plant with the size of a coal-fired power plant. And compare the space required by your previous oil or gas heating system with that of your house connection station. These are big differences!

A district heating connection to geothermal energy increases the value of your property in a sustainable way.

In the long term, the heat supply from geothermal district heating is more cost-effective than the supply with fossil fuels. Don't believe us? Just make a total cost- and a long-term assessment.

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