Paris Homes to Get Geothermal Heating
Paris is going geothermal (at least some parts are), as a 31 million euro scheme is launched to heat 12,000 residential apartments and buildings in the capital’s 19th arrondissement.
Using the Earth as a Free Heat Source
The project is due to come on stream by 2011, and will provide 54% of the area’s energy needs. It lies between the perpherique ring road and the Saint-Denis canal. The Paris scheme will see engineers drilling down 1.7 kilometres to the Dogger geological stratum. This stores water heated by nature to 57 degrees Celsius.
This free energy source is drawn to the surface where it heats a boiler that pumps hot water into radiators fitted into apartment blocks.
Geothermal energy, used since Roman times, makes use of unlimited amounts of energy recovered from the earth’s core heat. The areas around Paris, Alsace in the east, and Aquitaine in the southwest are said to be best suited geologically for this cheap alternative source of energy.
Sufficiently high temperature heated water pumped to the surface can be used to drive electricity generating turbines.
Some 170,000 French homes are heated geothermally and government runs a tax rebate scheme ( Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie) to encourage people to switch. The aim is to boost the geothermal uptake to more than one million homes or 4% of all households, by 2020.
A year ago Paris Orly announced plans to use geothermal energy to cut its heating bills.
Story: Ken Pottinger
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