The increasing need for energy, both for electricity and thermal uses, has improved the potential market for geothermal energy applications. The trend toward globalization compounds the situation. As trade barriers between nations and regions are dismantled, information on resources, opportunities, regulations, prices and demand should become instantly and globally available.
The differences in data organization among different branches and languages described in 1.1 are currently taken for granted.
EGIP challenges this practice.
It looks at the different segments as parts that can be aggregated into a unique higher-performing, less-fragmented geothermal information system. Having local and specialized geothermal information systems in different branches is of course useful. What we are doing is to challenge the existing, taken-for-granted situation. We want to create desegmentation opportunities by formulating a new information strategy.
EGIP’s overall target is to increase the share of potential geothermal energy users at an international level by improving knowledge and facilitating the retrieval of the basic information needed to establish geothermal projects.
The main aims behind the EGIP are to: i) reduce information fragmentation, ii) simplify data provision, iii) reduce project risks (economic aspects), iv) raise awareness about geothermal energy by providing an overview of its application at the European scale, and v) increase the focus on and investments in geothermal energy.
The primary EGIP customers are potential international energy users, such as international operators and funding agencies interested in launching new geothermal projects. However, the EGIP would be beneficial to any geothermal stakeholder and to respond to the increasing concerns of non-geothermal-sector stakeholders that geothermal applications are too confusing and difficult to manage.
The EGIP is designed as a distributed system: each (national) data provider delivers its data according to a common standard data model and common services. Its development exploits INSPIRE directives, thus ensuring a coordinated effort at a minimum cost since each EU country will have to be INSPIRE compliant within the next few years. Creating an EGIP now that INSPIRE directives are being implemented has several benefits:
• Guaranteed data interoperability: retrieval, viewing and access of information from partners and other providers (via WMS, e.g. protected areas)
• Harmonized geothermal domain at a European level
• Efficiency, thanks to the non-multiplicity of data sources, the latter being directly related to national databases
• Guaranteed ownership: data belong to and stay in the country they are related to. Each country decides what to share and what to keep private
• Durability and maintainability, since this is information is directly related to national data sources
• Economically viable, requiring only coordination with respect to what each country would need to develop independently
• Productivity, by covering all published data in the long term.
Having explained why and for whom, let’s see how EGIP would work.