On the occasion of the visit of Emmanuel Macron and his delegation, Agnès Pannier-Runacher visited the Equans geothermal site which uses a 100% green solution called ATES (Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage).
Equans, the new leader in energy and services, has perfected the technological know-how of this 100% green heating in winter and cooling in summer solution thanks to its multi-expertise in thermal, electrical and renewable energy engineering. The site is an example of the 3,000 systems operating in this way in the Netherlands and contributing to the decarbonisation of activities (over 60% energy savings).
ATES works with heat pumps. In an ATES system, the heat pumps use the thermal energy of aquifers (land containing water). In winter, water is pumped from the ground and heat is extracted by the pumps. This heat is transported to the building and the cooled water is returned to the ground. In summer, the water that was cooled during the winter is pumped out. The cold it gives off is transported to the building. The water heated by the heat of the building is recovered and then stored in the aquifer, waiting for the next winter.
The majority of the energy used is thus "produced" and stored locally. No transport is required.
The subsoil in the Netherlands is particularly suitable for this technique. In France, similar soil types can be found in some important areas (e.g. the Biarritz-Toulouse-Paris triangle, and most of the North).