THESSALONIKI – After setting terms in awarding exploration licences for its geothermal potential, drilling in Sintiki in Central Macedonia in Greece has shown some promising results as the country tries to speed moving toward renewables.
In a report, the site Think GeoEnergy said the municipality, near the border with Bulgaria could be near a hotbed of the geothermal source that could change the use of energh for the region.
Sintiki Mayor Fotis Domouchtsidis, was visited by a team from the Hellenic Authority of Geologic and Mining research agency EAGME that included its chief, Apostolos Arvanitis, and the Project Manager in the area of Haropos, Panagiotis Vakalopoulos, accompanied by Mr. EAGME program in the area north of Haropos.
The project is under the aegis of the EAGME and funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) which means there’s no cost to the local communities where there is drilling in big research wells in the Sidirokastro field, the report added.
The first drilling was completed at the end of October 2021 and reached a depth of about 200 meters (656 feet) with encouraging results, finding fluids at some 75 degrees Celsius (167 Fahrenheit) hot enough for optimism.
The drilling program will continue in March, with the aim of investigating both the temperature conditions of the area and the capacity, as expressed by the supply, said the site.
Domouchtsidis and the President of the Community Council of Haropou were said to be hoping the area will reap the energy and economic benefits if the initial find bears out more results.
Earlier in March – trying to wean off using coal more quickly – with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showing how reliant the European Union is on Russian energy – Greece moved to speed licenses for geothermal exploration.
That was a first step towards tapping a domestic resource to cut energy costs and achieve zero net greenhouse emissions by 2050, the Energy Ministry said, according to Reuters.
Goals have been seen to be movable, however, after often being missed as Greece still produces most of its power from coal instead of the sun or wind, despite an abundance of both, or more sustainable sources.
Greece has been slowly moving away from coal in the 21st Century and shifting toward reneables to produce power but still is largely dependent on gas imports – mostly from Russia – the major source.
Potential investors are showing keen interest in Greece’s geothermal energy prospects and the New Democracy government is set to define the areas in which it will award licenses after a public consultation period ends.