Pullach is significantly expanding geothermal energy – district of Munich

The municipality of Pullach is taking giant strides towards complete independence from fossil fuels for its heat supply. On Tuesday, the municipal council agreed to increase the equity of the municipal geothermal company Innovative Energie für Pullach (IEP) by 12.5 million to 30 million euros for the expansion of the district heating network and the joint venture with the Munich public utility company that has already been decided on. In addition, a Geothermie Isartal GmbH is to be founded with Stadtwerke München this year, into which both partners will each pay 30 million euros. Among other things, the money will be used to finance three double boreholes on the “Pullach Süd” claim on Baierbrunner Flur, from which IEP Managing Director Helmut Mangold is expecting an output of 77 megawatts, a tripling of the previous energy output of Pullach’s geothermal energy. Mayor Susanna Millennial (Greens) spoke of a “historic decision for a groundbreaking project for public services,” and after the panel unanimously approved the IEP’s motion, there was applause from all factions.

Pullach already covers 46 percent of its private and commercial heat requirements with geothermal energy, not including the process heat required by the chemical company United Initiators. With the expansion of the project, it could become 100 percent, said Mangold in his presentation at the beginning of the debate. In an interview with the SZ on Wednesday, however, the IEP managing director emphasized that the entire project is dependent on state support within the framework of federal funding for efficient heating networks and official approvals. Without funding there will be no new geothermal projects nationwide, with funding there will be many, according to Mangold. In this regard, however, he is confident, especially in view of the current world situation. “The Ukraine war is the Fukushima moment of fossil fuels,” said the IEP executive director, that an energy supply with an ecological signature is an indispensable part of national security.

In five years more than 1600 objects in the community should be supplied

Apparently, many residents of Pullach see it the same way, at least Mangold reported a real rush to geothermal energy, including from people who had previously rejected a connection. Another 100 buildings could be connected this year, but there are already 200 more names on the waiting list for 2023. The expansion of the district heating network should proceed correspondingly quickly and should be completed by 2027, four years earlier than originally planned. The district heating route currently has a total length of around 50 kilometers and supplies 1,119 properties with a connected load of 30 megawatts. In five years, the route should be 60 kilometers long and supply 1,641 objects with 59 megawatts.

Enormous demand from the population and a secure occurrence of productive deep water – the investment risk is very low in the eyes of those responsible for IEP, much lower even than when Pullach geothermal energy started 20 years ago. At that time, the local council decided blindly that today, thanks to 3D technology, it can be assumed that the boreholes would find what they were looking for, said local councilor Andreas Most (Pullach plus), who is the IEP supervisory board chairman.

Alexander Betz from the FDP said that he had been a critical observer of the IEP project and had always wondered whether it was the task of the Pullach community to drill in Baierbrunn to supply heat to the city of Munich. But now the situation has also changed with regard to energy prices, and since the concept also serves to supply the community, he agrees. However, he wanted to be sure that the community would continue to have a hand on it. Sebastian Westenthanner (CSU) spoke of the “greatest treasure we’re sitting on in Bavaria,” and Johannes Schuster (We in Pullach) explained that against the background of Putin’s war of aggression, it’s no longer just about the environment, but also about energy Independence. Since February 24, the times are over when considerations are only made up to the municipal boundary.

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