The Geothermal ERA-NET was a European cooperation started on 1st of May 2012 for duration of four years. The project aimed at deepening the cooperation of national program owners and administrators and thus to be an enabler for the integration of national research and development agendas into a coherent European geothermal R&D program. This corresponds to a strategic contribution to the European Action Plan “Energy Policy for Europe”, speeding up the deployment of geothermal projects. Geothermal energy is a benign renewable energy source, which not only contributes to the overall goals of the European Action Plan (30% CO2 reduction, 20% energy savings, 20% renewable and 10% bio fuels), but may also integrate intermittent renewable energies with its base load capacity.
Geothermal ERA-NET was different from other conventional research projects since in this case the grant is for cooperation and coordination of the research plan of the countries involved but not for direct research. The Geothermal ERA-NET was a crucial first step for geothermal towards a coordinated research in the EU through the so-called SET-plan (European Strategic Energy Technology Plan).
GEORG initiated the Geothermal ERA-NET, together with Orkustofnun, in May 2012 and GEORG manager participated in the whole project as assisting coordinator, as a part-time employee at Orksutofnun. The project is supported by the EU Seventh Framework and the participants of the project, together with Orkustofnun, and Rannís, are administrative bodies of eight other European countries, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Azores.
The collaboration was successful and resulted in a continuation called GEOTHERMICA, where GEORG is running the project office.