Characteristics of low-enthalpy geothermal applications in Greece
The paper offers a brief overview of the current direct geothermal uses in Greece and discusses their characteristics, with emphasis to the economical and technical problems encountered. Greece holds a prominent place in Europe regarding the existence of promising geothermal resources (both high and low-enthalpy), which can be economically exploited. Currently, no geothermal electricity is produced in Greece. The installed capacity of direct uses at the end of 2009 is estimated at about 155 MW(t), exhibiting an increase of more than 100% compared to the figures reported at the World Geothermal Congress 2005. The main uses, in decreasing share, are geothermal heat pumps, swimming and balneology, greenhouse heating and soil warming. Earth-coupled and groundwater (or seawater) heat pumps have shown a drastic expansion during the past 2-3 years, mainly due to high oil prices two years ago and easing of the license requirements for drilling shallow wells. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.