The EU project GeoDH (http://geodh.eu/) concluded that around 25% of the EU population could be supplied by geothermal district heating based on the use of natural thermal aquifers (hydrothermal energy use). Petrothermal energy, covering Hot Dry Rock as well as Enhanced Geothermal System techniques might be a vital complementary option for integrating geothermal energy into district heating systems outside of productive thermal aquifers to raise the share of geothermal energy in district heating systems. Above all, this applies to existing district heating systems, which might be transformed from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in the next 5 to 10+ years.
The Geothermal-DHC webinar “petrothermal energy research in a global context”, which took place on the 22nd of March 2021 addressed current research activities, R&D problems as well as future opportunities linked to petrothermal energy use in district heating systems. The webinar hosted a welcome and introductory note by Gregor Goetzl, chair of the COST Action Geothermal-DHC, followed by two key note talks from Joseph Moore (University of Utah, US) and Albert Genter (ES Geothermie, France). Antonin Tym (University of Prague, Czech Republic) afterwards presented recent EGS activities in the Czech Republic. Emilio Pueyo (IGME, Spain) complemented the webinar by a talk about exploration on geothermal energy outside of well-known hydrocarbon exploitation areas.
The webinar revealed opportunities for the application of petrothermal energy outside pure electricity production, which is very much depending on feed in tariffs. However, future research is needed to bridge petrothermal from the current research and pilot phase towards a large scale deployment including areas of moderate geothermal conditions. R&D needs to focus on making drilling and well completion more cost efficient, enhancing the geomechanical system control in the tension field of hydraulic productivity and unwanted seismic events during the engineering phase and prolonging the durability of well equipment.
The presentations given at the webinar can be downloaded here.
The webinar is available at the Geothermal-DHC YouTube channel.
On October 1st, our COST Action Geothermal-DHC had its first digital workshop entitled "Possibilities and limitations of geothermal energy use for heating and production of electricity at volcanic islands". It was a successful workshop in which we discussed about the use of geothermal energy on volcanic islands.
Summary of the workshop, conclusions and links to the materials can be found in the pdf file here.
The Geothermal-DHC team met in Munich on February 18th to 20th, 2020. The first day was reserved for management meetings to plan upcoming activities for 2020. On February 19th, plenary sessions took place, hosting key note speeches on the current role of shallow- and deep geothermal energy in Europe in the context of heating and cooling grids. Invited speakers from the district heating and industrial sector talked about requirements on geothermal energy. A field trip on the last day showed actual developments on deep and shallow geothermal energy in Munich.