This year the Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award 2020 was earned by the Icelandic Carbfix project and German company Eavor on equal merit.
Courtesy of CarbFix
The Carbfix processcaptures CO2 and other sour gases from emission sources, transforming them into rocks underground in less than two years. This overturns the common view that mineral storage in Carbon Capture & Storage projects takes hundreds to thousands of years. Carbfix has global scaling potential in and beyond the geothermal industry for decarbonizing the economy.
Eavor’sinnovation is a novel and scalable closed-loop geothermal system of several deep horizontal wells connected to vertical wells. This overcomes the limitation of deep geothermal systems, which normally rely on vertical single wells only. By running on thermosiphon, it also enables the geothermal industry to offer both a baseload and dispatchable energy source.
Traditionally, the award is handed out at GEOTHERM Expo & Congress. This year the event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so the winners were announced during an online ceremony today.
Miklos Antics, president of the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) and member of the jury, said,“The choice has been so hard that for the first time we had to award two winners. These projects demonstrate that the geothermal community keeps innovating in so many different ways, from technical improvements that increase energy production, to climate change mitigation measures. We encourage companies to keep up with this standard and are sure to see as many excellent applications for next year as we did this year. The pace at which the geothermal industry is developing is unprecedented and so we believe this will be the ‘geothermal decade’.”
Edda Aradóttir, chief executive officer at Carbifix, said, “We are honored to receive this award and the recognition it entails. It reflects the increased interest and belief that the Carbfix process can be applied to significantly reduce the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and help our battle against climate change. Highlighting all the top-level research and innovation which is ongoing in the European geothermal sector and beyond is of great importance and supports the commercialization of new and improved technologies.”
Robert Winsloe, executive vice president at Eavor, added that, “On behalf of my colleagues at Eavor and our partners around the world, I would like to thank the jury and the EGEC for this very prestigious award. I would also like to congratulate Carbfix and the other finalists, all of whom would have been worthy winners. Despite the challenges in the current environment, the recognition that comes with this award encourages us to continue building on the excellent progress we’ve made to date with both our commercial projects and the development of our Eavor-Loop technology.”
As every year, the competition was very high-level. The finalists included: Bakker Oilfield Supply (Netherlands), for Degasser, which consists in a product to separate harmful gases and oils from water and steam; Vulcan Energie Ressourcen (Germany), that aims to extract lithium from geothermal brine with a zero-carbon process; and Zae Bayern (Germany), for their test rig that emulates the thermal behaviour of a real borehole heat exchanger of different lengths and underground properties.
The jury for 2020 was composed of Miklos Antics (France, representing EGEC), Adele Manzella (Italy, research expert), Sandra Kircher (Germany, representing Messe Offenburg), Fausto Batini (Italy, representing ETIP-DG, industry expert), and Javier Urchueguia (Spain, representing RHC-ETIP geothermal panel).
The Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award is an initiative of EGEC, the European Geothermal Energy Council, in collaboration with Messe Offenburg, organizers of the GeoTHERM fair and congress. It is given to companies which have made an outstanding contribution towards the field of geothermal energy in the form of innovative products, scientific research and project initiatives.