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Paris digs deep to obtain clean, hot water

By Staff Writer

A major new project is under way in Paris to provide ecologically clean heating for an entire district by extracting piping hot water from nearly 2km under the earth, according to an AFP report.

"The lower you go, the hotter the water," said Michel Galas of CPCU, the urban heating company carrying out the work. The shaft, when finished will delve 1.7km into the earth (drilling will go on night and day for about 100 days to reach the required depth). At that depth lies a geological stratum called the Dogger from which water, heated naturally to 57°C, will be sucked up to the surface, where it will be used to heat another stock of water. This will be pumped to apartment blocks to heat radiators and provide hot water.

"It's energy that is 100 per cent renewable," said Galas. The scheme will heat around 12,000 apartments and other buildings due to be built by 2011 in a new residential area in the city's 19th district.

The project will cost €31 million (Dh146m), €5m of which will come from the state. CPCU is jointly owned by the City of Paris and energy group GDF Suez. "In Paris, we're trying to adopt a new strategy. France is largely behind other European countries, because we've under-invested in renewable energies," said Denis Baupin, a Paris deputy mayor.