Last week, on the 17 and 18 March, the CROWDTHERMAL partners held their second consortium meeting online due to the events of COVID-19 – the meeting was previously scheduled to be hosted in the Canary Islands. Due to the circumstances the consortium had to adapt and work around the impossibility of a face-to-face meeting.

This CROWDTHERMAL workshop led to outstanding preliminary results particularly for Work Packages 1, 2 and 3, which are currently running.  Work Package 1 focuses on studying the bottlenecks linked to geothermal energy. For that matter, IZES presented its preliminary results including D1.1 “International Review of Public perception studies”. Among the bottlenecks identified were: 1) trust in the technology and 2) perception of risks and legislative background. These results will later on feed into the Social License to Operate (SLO) which is at the centre of the CROWDTHERMAL project. A Social License to Operate refers to the ongoing acceptance of a company or industry’s standard business practices and operating procedures by its employees, stakeholders, and the general public.

Work Package 2 delivered an overview of the best practices in Europe regarding geothermal which will be a crucial document for any upcoming geothermal project mixing geothermal energy and crowdfunding. Work Package 3 unveiled its report on mitigation risks linked to geothermal energy. As pointed out by Work Package 1, risk mitigation is an important step to build trust in the technology and thus having an effective Social License to operate. The results of the questionnaire help to understand and to deal with risk mitigation for all case studies of CROWDTHERMAL (Spain, Iceland and Hungary). In addition, WP3 created a cluster of geothermal stakeholders in order to discuss an analysis for geothermal risk mitigation in the context of alternative financing schemes. The cluster identified a glaring lack of a pan-European exploration risk mitigation scheme.

As for WP4, which La Palma Research Centre leads, the team kickstarted the organisation of a social media powered platform that will support the deployment of integrated development schemes for geothermal energy utilising alternative finance and community engagement tools. Thanks to the synergic approach of the consortium, this platform will be launched in due time early 2021.

Stay tuned for more news regarding the CROWDTHERMAL project!