E-learning module “Geothermal energy” (D)

Project partners Within the Vital Rural Area project the WAK is working in partnership with Friese Poort Bedrijfsopleidingen. Friese Poort developed a Solar Water Heating course.

Contact data
Ola Flathus.
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Maik Jaron
Tel. 0049 461 8408332
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Stefan Schütt
Tel. 0049 4841 960830
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Key words earth warmth, geothermal, sustainable energy, e-learning, education

Main problems to be solved (analysis) In the rural parts of Schleswig-Holstein there is a lack of well qualified residents, as the industry is growing in special branches. This situation is to be found especially within the industry for renewable energy, such as wind, sun and geothermal energy. The outcome of research in the small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and trade associations indicates that the enterprises have too little knowledge of innovations. Especially for those companies who have one to fifteen employees. This threatens their long term survival, because innovation is the future. When we give the SME’s tools to improve their knowledge of innovations in general they will have a better chance to survive in rural areas and secure employment in these areas. Additionally, this means a more attractive employer for younger people.

Aim of the project Developing a digital course called “Geothermal Energy” that will be disseminated via an online platform developed in conjunction with and implemented by the project partner within the Vital Rural Area Project - Friese Poort. The e-learning course will be available for employees of SME’s and also for students of technical schools. Exchange teaching materials between UK, Germany and other project partners within VRA. The teaching material will be available for the SME’s in English, German and Dutch in the vital rural areas.

(Expected) Results upgrade the skills of the SME’s in innovations and sustainability so that the entrepreneur will stay competitive to the larger companies. In this way the company will survive and can remain in the rural area. The employees of the SME’s can find the digital course on the website Also for the students of the technical schools the material is available.

(Expected) outcome within the WP Providing an education module “geothermal energy – an energy source for millenniums to come”. The module will be available on the website: in the following languages: English, German and Dutch (via our project partner Friese Poort).

(Expected) outcome for the region as a whole The development of this module is intended to be a catalyst for the knowledge transfer of innovative technologies to smaller companies in rural areas. The course “geothermal energy” itself therefor is not only a standalone product but might as well be seen as an accelerator. The aim is to foster international knowledge exchange. To provide the practical minded employee with an information-platform for innovative techologies will be beneficial for the labour maket in rural areas. The customer also benefits from an innovative company in the area for installation and maintenance. Advantage: little travel time, cost and energy waste. The innovative employer reserves its right to exist and this is even interesting for prospective employees. Ultimately this should lead to an increase in the quality of life in rural areas. In summary: innovative SMEs results in maintaining employment and quality of life in the rural area.

Planning Preparation and start Organising the project, project partners, tasks, action plan etc. Kickoff for preparing next steps: aims, milestones, tasks, project coordination and quality control Jan 09 March 09 Research 1. Research of employment market needs 2. Desktop analysis of existing training modules 3. Commissioning of an external expert to develop the basis of the training 4. Exchange of knowledge between WAK and FP Apr 09 Nov 09 Analysis Analysis: Summary and recommendation Developing concept Nov 09 Jan 10 Contents Developing contents of training modules for employees of the SME’s in the Installation and students of the technical schools. Topics: geothermal energy (WAK). And solar water heating (FP). Testing the module by SME’s and students of the technical school. Jan 10 Dec 12 Integrate IT • Translate from german to english • Implementation of the course material through by project partner Friese Poort Mar 12 Jan 13 Testing and Evaluation • Evaluation of the module via key-user trainings and analysis of interviews Dec 12 Mar 13 Evaluation and Transfer Dissemination of the module in the areas of the participating countries (SME’s and schools). Receive feedback from the SME’s and schools. Expected outcome is to create an international network of innovative knowledge. Apr 13 Dec 13??

Costs € 317.507,00

Financing 50% Funding Vital, 50% own contribution

Implementation of the project (cf. CAA) We developed a digital course “geothermal energy” to upgrade the knowledge of the entrepreneurs and workforce.


1 Successes achieved - develop education module “Geothermal Energy” - try-out education module within the school is planned - from the start of the project there was an agreement about the way the education modules Geothermal Energy and Solar Water Heating would be presented. - successful partnership with Friese Poort.

2 What are the expected boundary conditions for the project to be implemented? - cooperative attitude of the school and the SME’s during the testing- and implementation phase

3 related projects -facing challenges and providing solutions (M.E.R.) -PEREN North Alsace Rural Centre of Excellence for New Energies -Ruscliffe Environmental Education Centre (Ruddington,Nothingham) -Fawside Deneholme Centre (Allendale) Project Solar Water Heating of Friese Poort, Netherlands

4 applicability / transferability of the project - The digital module can be used in all rural areas in the EU within the SME’s of the installation branch and technical schools. Also the contribution of knowledge centres could be useful.

5 tools to alleviate / help starting up implementation Collaboration with professional associations to disseminate and propagate the e-learning platform.

6 Sustainability The development of this module is groundbreaking for a stream of innovative knowledge to the smaller companies. One should not see the course geothermal energy itself as a standalone product, but as a breakthrough. This leads to a faster international knowledge exchange. Knowledge of the latest developments in the fields of solar, wind and geothermal energy will lead to a independence of fossil energy.