Geothermal could replace coal on arctic island group of Svalbard

By District Energy posted 09-21-2021 13:20


Think GeoEnergy


A pilot project will investigate whether the new high school in Longyearbyen on the Norwegian Arctic island group of Svalbard can be heated by deep geothermal heat, as reported by Norwegian GeoForskning. If the project proves profitable, Svalbard can eventually get more geothermal wells. Currently energy and heat is provided by the coal plant at Longyearbyen.

Longyearbyen is located at high latitudes and needs district heating all year round – even in summer. In winter, it is completely dark, which excludes solar energy. High energy prices (2.04 – 2.46 Norwegian kroner per kWh, this translate to around USD 0.23-0.28/ kWh) provide a lower threshold for profitability of geothermal energy.

The senior geologist further pointed out that the subsoil in Longyearbyen is well mapped and that the geothermal gradients (how quickly the temperature increases in depth) are relatively high – up to 44 degrees C per kilometer.

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