Geothermal energy is a non-carbon-based renewable energy source, able to provide base load power for electricity and heat generation in many countries around the world. In continental Europe the geothermal potential is estimated to be over 50.000 MW, but only in Italy, Iceland, and Portugal it has been harnessed for the generation of electricity (over 1.400 MW installed capacity). For an increase of the contribution of geothermalenergy to the global power production, research needs to support some major goals:
- significantly enhancing the production from already identified and utilized resources
- exploring at large scale new untapped deep seated (up to 6 km) hydrothermal systems
- making Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) ready for large scale deployment
- accessing “high potential” resources such as Supercritical fluids and Magmatic Systems.
Beside the technological challenges other aspects of relevance for the further development of geothermal energy require to be addressed with innovative approaches and tools to:
- improve the risk assessment and management for a reliable evaluation of the technical, environ-mental and economic sustainability of the projects
- secure the social acceptance of geothermal projects by ensuring that potential site and technology specific side effects are typically relatively minor compared to the benefits
- provide the guidelines to the Regulatory Authorities and Policy Makers for sustainable development of geothermal initiatives
Structure (Sub Programmes)
- Resource Assessment
- Accessing and Engineering of the Reservoir
- Process Engineering and Design of power systems
- Sustainability, Environment and Regulatory Framework
As there is no major body of research on geothermal energy funded under the UK National Programme the UK does not participate in this joint programme.