Greece - Direct Uses




individual space heating



Greenhouse heating



fish farming



Agricultural drying



bathing and swimming



Other uses



 geothermal heat pumps





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: High enthalpy geothermal resource appears to be confined in the active South Aegean volcanic arc, with a proven potential exceeding 250 MWe in the islands of Milos and Nisyros. Low enthalpy geothermal fields (<100°C) are numerous in Greece, most of which are located in the basins in Northern Greece, as well as in many of the Aegean Islands. Present data indicate that the proven low enthalpy in the country exceeds 100 MWt. A small share of this potential is currently exploited mainly for greenhouse heating and balneological uses. The total installed capacity of direct-use applications is over 220 MWt, exhibiting a modest increase of 65% over data present at WGC2010. Geothermal heat pumps exhibit the largest share (>65% of the installed capacity), followed by bathing and swimming and greenhouse heating. Direct applications (without GHPs) remained rather static over the past few years; however there were some new facilities, while others were closed, mostly for reason unrelated to geothermal energy. On the other hand, ground-source heat pumps were being installed at a 25% average annual growth rate over the past five years, with over

850 installations recorded in the country: 61% are open loop, 30% closed vertical loop, and 9% closed horizontal loop systems. Open-loop geothermal heat pump systems are used for soil heating for off-season asparagus cultivation, now exceeding 20 ha. The majority of greenhouses are located in the north of the country and about 70% are glass covered. Currently, there are 26 greenhouse heating units using geothermal energy covering about 25.6 ha. Tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers appear to be the main crops, with cut flowers and potted plants also being raised. Two spa facilities (Traianoupolis in Trace and Nea Appolonia close to Thessaloniki) are heated with low enthalpy geothermal water. Space heating is also provided to a hotel in Milos. A novel tomato dehydration plant started operation in 2001 near Neo Erasmio where more than 140 tonnes of “sun dried” tomatoes have been produced. Geothermal aquaculture projects have been in place in Greece since the late 1990s and include the heating of fish wintering ponds (Mediterranean seabass and gilt-head sea bream) and the cultivation of spirulina in raceways. More than 60 spas and bathing centers in the country use thermal waters for both therapeutic purposes and/or for recreation. There are also more than 25 outdoor swimming pools using geothermal water.

Taken from: John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd
Published in Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2015 Worldwide Review

Total thermal installed capacity in MWt:134.6
Direct use in TJ/year937.8
Direct use in GWh/year260.5
Capacity factor0.22

The first half of the present decade was characterized by a diversification of direct applications with new uses such as aquaculture, spirulina production, outdoor pool heating, water desalination and fruit and vegetable dehydration. However, in the past few years there has been a rapid expansion of geothermal heat pumps, with the increase in installed capacity since WGC2005 has been almost solely attributed to geothermal heat pumps.

There have been some reduction in use, mainly with the greenhouses and desalination plant on Kimolos Island being taken out of operation, and the 2.0 MWt project for heating and cooling several public buildings in Langadas (Thessaloniki) has been abandoned. The fate of a novel desalination project on Milos Island is still unclear, despite the completion of eight production and injection wells. Space heating is practiced only in two spa buildings, in a hotel in Milos, in several individual houses, and in a high school.

Approximately 21 ha of greenhouses are heated, mainly for vegetable and cut flower growing, with 27 greenhouse units in the country run by 21 operators. Some soil heating, especially for asparagus, has increased significantly and is now 17 ha. There are more than 60 thermal spas and bathing centers in operation. A tomato dehydration unit has been operating since 2001 producing more than 1,000 kg of dehydrated tomatoes per day. Geothermal water is used for frost protection for a number of aquaculture ponds during the winter. Approximately 350 geothermal heat pump applications are located in the country with about 65% being of the open loop configuration.

The figures for the various direct uses are:

1.5 MWt and 16.5 TJ/yr for individual space heating;
34.8 MWt and 340 TJ/yr for greenhouse heating;
9.0 MWt and 71.5 TJ/yr for fish farming;
0.3 MWt and 1.8 TJ/yr for agricultural drying,;
39.0 MWt and 238 TJ/yr for bathing and swimming;
50.0 MWt and 270 TJ/yr for geothermal heat pumps.

The total for the country is 134.6 MWt and 937.8 TJ/yr

Taken from the paper by John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd: "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review"; published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010