The German city of Munich is planning to be powered 100 per cent by renewable district heating by 2040, with geothermal energy set to play its part.

Local newspaper Abendzeitung Muenchen and thinkgeoenergy website have reported on the presence of large white trucks in the city, specifically being used to analyse Munich’s geothermal suitability.
Geothermal analysis
In the state of Bavaria, the geological nature of the soil is ideal for geothermal. According to analysts conditions are favourable, with especially hot water at the relevant depths. Much of southern Bavaria is located on the layers of the so-called Malm: There are porous, karst and therefore particularly permeable rock layers. 

Over the last two decades smaller Bavarian cities have developed geothermal projects but Munich would be the first large city to embrace geothermal district heating to this extent.

For now seismic surveys of the city’s subsurface have been done and the city is planning to start drilling in 2018 to depths of 4,000 meters, with preparations to start this autumn.

Surveyors used the trucks involved to perform 3D seismic tests in order to fully appreciate Munich’s geothermal potential. The measurements are integrated into the research project GRAME, which is funded by the Federal Department of Energy of Germany.