GEOHEALTH – Optimisation process for multiple utilisations of geothermal resources and balneology for environment protection and health tourism

Southern and Eastern Europe possesses large geothermal potential that currently are only partially utilised. The regional key players are becoming more and more aware of economical and ecological benefits arising from utilisation of geothermal resources. A contracting phase for services and products in energy and health sector is currently being implemented across the SEEC countries. The geothermal potential in the Southern and Eastern Europe provide high export potential for Austrian service providers as well as for Austrian companies involved in equipment production, technical implementation and operation.

The objective is to develop a planning instrument for optimisation of utilisation of geothermal sources for energy supply, thermal spa facilities and health resorts in accordance with the local market conditions and financing requirements.

The experiences and knowledge of internationally renowned Austrian experts (Geoteam GmbH, ingenos GmbH and BLUEWATERS) in the field of geothermal facility planning will serve as basis for process development. The investment costs as well as the related operating costs for cascade utilisation of geothermal resources from electricity production including local heating, balneological and agro economic utilisation have to be transparently calculated to provide a solid decision basis for both financing institutions and operators.

The instrument should serve efficient and economically optimised applications for tenders in the SEEC. In the project it is planned to test the developed planning instrument in the pilot projects jointly with the partners from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania.

The planning instrument will be developed during the project. It represents a modular and standardised approach for determination of optimal utilisation of geothermal resources for energetic, tourism and health sector applications.

By comparison of models for utilisation of thermal water for energetic and balneological purposes in terms of cascade utilisation both investors and operators will support the decision making process. Pilot projects will be implemented in Apatin and Becej (Serbia), Bijeljina (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Oradea (Romania).

The public contracting authorities (municipalities, regions) put emphasis on regional economic benefit – creation of working places, capacity building, regional added value etc.

The described planning instrument is innovative to all partners as it enables a comprehensive and efficient observation of possible cascade utilisation methods of geothermal sources and binds existing expertise, software and know-how.