EU-funded CROWDTHERMAL project aims at empowering society to participate in the development of geothermal projects using alternative financing schemes.

CROWDTHERMAL is a new project funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°857830) which aims to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects with the help of alternative financing schemes such as crowdfunding and social engagement tools. The 36-months project has held its kick-off meeting in Brussels, on 23 and 24 September 2019. One of the major drivers of CROWDTHERMAL is to support the EU’s strategic objective to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, to create a stable energy market, and to reduce the environmental impact of its energy supply.

In order to reach this goal, the project aims at:

  • Understanding the requirements for social licencing and developing a Social Licence to Operate (SLO) model for the different geothermal technologies and installations,
  • Reviewing any successful case studies, as well as national/EU bottlenecks to alternative financing of geothermal energy in all EU countries,
  • Formulating new financial models for crowdsourcing on a national and trans-national basis, covering individual member-states and Europe as a whole;
  • Developing recommendations for a novel risk mitigation scheme that will be complementing the alternative financing solutions while also protecting private investors’ interests;
  • Validating findings with the help of three case studies in Iceland, Hungary and Spain;
  • Developing core services for social-media-based promotion and alternative financing of geothermal projects, working closely with existing structures & conventional players.

Led by the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), CROWDTHERMAL will be implemented by a consortium of 10 partners from 7 European countries, combining extensive experience in large-scale geothermal project development, alternative finance, social media engagement, innovation, education, and international networking on geothermal energy.

Benefiting from its broad network reaching out to more than 45,000 geoscientists across Europe, EFG will lead the dissemination and communication activities within CROWDTHERMAL. Some of EFG’s national association members will also participate as Linked Third Parties in the project, supporting among others the European Deployment Campaign in the last project year which will promote the proposed core services all across Europe.

More information is available on the project website.