Geothermal energy: ecological innovation
Innovation takes center stage at Janssen. This not only translates into what we do, but also into how we do it. We are constantly looking for new ways to minimize our impact on the environment.
We are reducing our impact on our environment significantly by using our resources sustainably. We can achieve much more if we generate renewable energy ourselves, so we are actively investing in projects that will make this happen. Deep geothermal energy is an example of this. Our goal is to power all of our buildings using 100% renewable energy sources by 2050, including through the use of geothermal energy.
What is geothermal energy?
The principle of geothermal energy is very simple: Hot water is pumped from a groundwater layer very deep into the ground and the heat is removed from it in a power plant. The cooled water then flows back into the same groundwater layer, a little further along, and is reheated by the warmth that is naturally present in the earth. This is an inexhaustible and highly environmentally friendly cycle, which has no impact on the local residents, the environment or our own production.
30% less CO2 emissions
To achieve this, drilling has to be carried out first. The installation of an injection well (at a depth of 2,051 m) and a production well (2,235 m deep) provide a permanent throughput of 90 liters/second of hot water with a temperature of 85 °C from a deep water layer. Our tests have shown that we can save up to 30% of CO2 emissions in this way.
Heat exchanger and heat network
The water that we extract from the ground can be used as a source of energy for cooling and heating. Once it has been pumped up, the hot water is distributed through a heat exchanger and our smart, new heat network, with a length of 2.7 km, across the Beerse site. In this way, buildings and processes can tap water directly at the temperature they need. Janssen is one of the first industrial players in Belgium to use deep geothermal energy on such a scale for its own energy requirements. We expect to put our geothermal power plant into operation in the fall of 2021. More information about deep geothermal energy can be found at www.diepegeothermie.be.
A logical step in our sustainability strategy
Together with our partners, we are investing in the health of our planet and its inhabitants. Deep geothermal energy is an example of this, but it is also a logical step in our overall sustainability strategy
The financial support from the Flemish Energy Agency (Vlaams Energie Agentschap) (€ 6 million), the Flemish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Agency (Vlaams Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen) (€ 2 million) and the European Regional Development Fund (€ 1.5 million), has contributed to the realization of our geothermal energy project.