PRESS RELEASE | May 2017 | Brussels – The European Federation of Geologists (EFG) and the Association of Greek Geologists (AGG) coorganised the first EuroWorkshop on Geothermal Energy in Fira on the island of Santorini (Greece) on 18 and 19 May 2017, after a field trip on 17 May 2017.
EuroWorkshops are a new form of professional training that EFG proposes to European Geologist titleholders (EurGeols) and other geoscientists. This new type of training activity is designed to intensify the professional exchange of ideas and the contacts between geologists from all over Europe and to strengthen the European idea within the family of geoscientists.
The EuroWorkshops also provide applied training for students and young professionals, offering special conditions for them. This way, young geologists become familiar with the vision and mission of EFG, while EurGeols have the chance to upgrade their knowledge and experience since the workshops are CPD certified (the EurGeol title is a professional title created by the EFG which recognises the ability to deliver a high quality of services within the practice of geology and which requires Continuing Professional Development).
For this first edition, EFG chose to dedicate its EuroWorkshop to the promising yet still widely unknown ground-breaking field that is geothermal energy. The heat potential in the ground is indeed a very effective source in the long run. However, the Earth is still not perceived by a large majority of the population as a source of energy. This contradiction between the energy potential of our planet and the lack of general awareness towards it is what guided the organisation of this European event, as it is EFG’s constant mission to inform the public and share the innovative work of its members.
As ground-breaking as geothermal energy is, guaranteeing productive technical discussions from speakers and enthusiast contributions from attentive public members is always quite the challenge when organising such events. A challenge that the EFG did not however shy away from, considering the success of this first edition of the EuroWorkshops. During three days, no less than dozens of geologists coming from all over Europe and representing a wide range of professional fields gathered together and enthusiastically discussed the energy potential of our Planet while exploring the beautiful island of Santorini.
On the 17 May, the attendees were first offered the opportunity to take part in an optional field trip that aimed at educating them on the geological importance of the ancient settlement of Akrotiri, as well as introducing them to the exposed geological section to the coastal zone of Red Beach.
On 18 May, the first official day of the EuroWorkshop consisted in an entire day of presentations and debates covering the many topics related to geothermal energy, such as metal recovery, fluid-rock reactions, conversion of metallic mineral formations into orebody enhanced geothermal systems, power generation from geothermal brines, thanks to the participation of highly qualified speakers. Making the best of the location of Santorini, the participants also discussed the geothermal specificities and potential of the Greek island and had the opportunity to further interact through a very active panel session. Finally, as a reflection of how the future of geothermal energy is already written today, the attendees discovered some promising projects from across the globe, from Nicaragua to Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Romania and Greece.
On 19 May, the second day of the EuroWorkshop offered the possibility to attendees to further explore the location by taking part in a field trip to the Caldera of Santorini, first with a visit of the volcano craters and the successive layers from the eruption events at Nea Kameni, followed by an exploration of a geothermal borehole at Palea Kameni island.
Considering the active and enthusiast discussions that took place during those three days, the EFG is very proud to announce that the goal of facilitating cross-fertilisation between different scientific areas has been reached. The positive outcome of this first edition of the EuroWorkshops is therefore very promising for the future editions to which the EFG already looks forward.
About EFG: The European Federation of Geologists is a non-governmental organisation that was established in 1980 and includes today 25 national association members. EFG is a professional organisation whose main aims are to contribute to a safer and more sustainable use of the natural environment, to protect and inform the public and to promote a more responsible exploitation of natural resources. EFG’s members are National Associations whose principal objectives are based in similar aims. The guidelines to achieve these aims are the promotion of excellence in the application of geology and the creation of public awareness of the importance of geoscience for the society.
About AGG: The Association of Greek Geologists was founded in 1951 with the aim of promoting the geological sciences in Greece. The number of individual members is 388. The association also deals with the scientific and professional rights of geologists. They support the education of earth sciences at different educational levels. They regularly organise workshops, conferences and public events
This event has been sponsored by Municipality of Thira, Boatman Union of Santorini, Union of Santorini Cooperatives, Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company, and Hellas Gold.