Mon, 08 January, 2024
GeoSmart Project partners, VITO have created a 13-page document detailing how geothermal energy could provide a solution for mitigating global warming.
Whether by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or delivering an unwavering energy supply, geothermal is a low-carbon energy resource that could fill the gap faced by EU nations since the end of Russian gas supply.
With the capability to increase or reduce supply as required in a matter of seconds, the benefits of geothermal energy production span economic, environmental, strategic and social considerations, with the exact processes used being determined by the local geology around a geothermal plant.
Of the options available, the factsheet hones in on binary cycle plants and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) plants due to their flexibility, efficiency, scalability and because they offer a sustainable solution.
ORC technologies can be harnessed to produce electricity with any residual heat then exploited for industries ranging from agriculture and aquaculture to horticulture as well as offering leisure solutions, such as spas. This excess geothermal heat can also support carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and other carbon negative technologies. Geothermal can also assist the energy transition through critical mineral extraction to provide resources for electric mobility, for example.
To fully realise the benefits of geothermal energy it is important overcome challenges such as determining the right geological settings, maturing technologies to better exploit subsurface heat, and to build in flexibility to meet local needs. The high initial cost of geothermal projects could be offset through subsidies and investment.
Of course, all of this needs to compete with the already-established oil and gas industry, despite plans to phase out fossil fuel reliance.
However, contrary to what some may believe, geothermal energy can be exploited in areas away from tectonic plate boundaries, as is the case with deep geothermal projects in Belgium, which boasts no volcanic activity.
The document, which you can see below, provides more information on all of this and more, demonstrating the real benefits of harnessing geothermal energy across the world. Geosmart - Factsheet ORC Geothermal Plant Flexibility-2023 - pdf - 1mb
The GeoSmart project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme grant agreement 818576