The 5th generation networks (5GDHC), protagonists of a new edition of the Catalonia's GeoEnergy Conference

Submitted by Francesc Ribera on 03 April 2023

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The Working Group of Geothermy (GTG) of the Catalan Energy Cluster (CEEC), the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC) and the Catalan Institute of Energy (ICAEN) have celebrated this morning the Catalonia's GeoEnergy Conference which has been aimed at introducing the 5th generation District Cooling and Heating Networks (5GDHC). The event, held at the College of Industrial Engineers of Catalonia has had the assistance of more than a hundred professionals from both the geothermy and the energy sector. It also counted with the participation of six international experts who have given a general vision of the application of these networks in Europe and their experience within this field.

The event began with the institutional welcome by the dean of the College of Industrial Engineers of Catalonia, Narcís Armengol; the director of the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC), Miriam Moysset; the head of the energy projects area of the Catalan Institute of Energy (ICAEN), Jaume Margarit; and the president of the Catalan Energy Cluster (CEEC), Joaquim Daura.

During his intervention, Daura has insisted on the need to boost the decarbonization process of energy and has made reference to two key processes to achieve it: both the electrification of mobility and buildings. In this sense, the president of the CEEC also wanted to highlight the key role the geothermal energy will have on this: “If there is a technology adapted to efficient climatitzation is geothermal energy. It gives us opportunities, it is available all year round, is local, of high efficiency, and easily hybridable", he said.

Following him, Ignasi Herms, head of the Geological Resources area of the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC) has talked about the current situation of geothermy in Catalonia as well as its future development. Herms has affirmed that the future will be led by electrification and heat pumps. Herms also has pointed out two paths for its implementation: "The first is based on individual solutions. The second based on a mix of individual and collective facility solutions with 5th generation climatization networks and where geothermy could play a relevant role”.

After that, the presentations, starred by six international experts specializing in 5th generation networks (5GDHC), have started. The first of them was carried out by Soren Skjold, from Thermonet Denmark, who introduced the concept of district heating and cooling networks of the 5GDHC type as a new paradigm. On the other hand, Søren Erbs, from VIA University of Denmark, presented the CoolGeoHeat project, based on the application of the 5GDHC networks in Denmark. And later on, Marco Wirtz, from RWTH University and nPro Energy, has made a telematic presentation on the use of the 5GDHC networks in Germany, highlighting the role that shallow geothermal energy had.

After a break for networking among the almost 130 attendees, the international presentations have been resumed. The next speaker to go on stage was Lisa Treseder from Kensa Utilities UK, with her presentation ‘Ground Source Heat Pumps with Shared Ground Loop Arrays. Experiences from the UK’ to explain the projects that the british company has in the field of geothermal energy in the south-west of England. Afterwards, it was the turn of Francesco Milani, from ARCbcn, who presented the project Hypergryd, coordinated by the catalan engineering company itself and which is intended for the development of smart hybrid energy networks (Smart Hybrid Energy Networks). Finally, Jesús Teixidor, from SUNO Engineering, gave his presentation about the potential of 5GDHC networks with geothermy in Energy Communities in Catalonia.

The day concluded with a round table discussion on decarbonization of Catalonia's domestic sector and how the air-conditioning networks of 5GDHC renewables may help. The round table was formed by the director of the Energy Research Institute of Catalonia, Dr. Joan Ramón Morante; the Technical Director of the Consortium of the Local Energy Agency of Barcelona, Manel Torrent; the Assistant Director of Engineering and Geological Resources of the ICGC, Joan Palau; the Head of Technical Innovation and Energy Efficiency of the INCASÒL, Fernando Aranda, and the Head of the Area of Sectoral Energy Projects of the Catalan Institute of Energy, Jaume Margarit. Àlex Olives, representative of Quadrifoli Engineers, moderated the session.

You can view the video of the Conference on our YouTube channel:

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