L-R: City Councilors Peter Hanke, Kathrin Gaál, Jürgen Czernohorszky and Michaela Schüchner, Source: PID/VOTAVA

Vienna starts drilling for geothermal heat in residential districts

Vienna starts drilling for geothermal heat in residential districts

The pilot project is part of the city’s plans to exit natural gas dependency as soon as possible

The Austrian capital of Vienna has pledged to reach climate neutrality by 2040, but it will have a harder time than most cities to achieve that goal. This is because the city has a lot of municipal property in the form of district heating companies, electricity providers and, last but not least, a lot of municipal housing.

Specifically, these are some 200,000 housing units, which all need to be equipped with green electricity and sustainable heating and hot water options.

Local authorities are thus trying a variety of measures, with the most recent one being the introduction of geothermal drilling directly on the properties. This week, the city deployed the first deep drill for geothermal heat and, according to an official statement, this would be the solution for buildings which cannot be connected to the district heating system.

Energy - 150 meters deep

Local authorities have deployed geothermal drilling equipment as a pilot project for two publicly owned buildings on Deutschordenstrasse, built in the early 1950s. The project would cover heating and hot water for 277 apartments with sustainable geothermal energy.

geothermal drilling

The drills deployed on Deutschordenstrasse,

To find a suitable location, however, city officials have deployed 18 drills that will go 150 metres deep. The process will work to extract heat from the earth and heat water through a heat pump system. For residents, this would mean a new heat exchanger home station, about the size of a regular boiler.   

The city also plans to cover the energy needs of the heat pumps with a photovoltaic system and according to City Councillor for Housing Kathrin Gaal, this would result in a 75% reduction in heating needs for local residents, with the project scheduled for completion in 2024.

City Councillor for the Environment Jürgen Czernohorszky was quoted in a press statement explaining that this is just one project of many, planned throughout the city. He pointed out that the Austrian capital plans to invest 4.2 billion euros for its exit from gas reliance.



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