Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy, including Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are considered among the most environmentally friendly solutions to world’s energy challenge. It is in principle emission free and also attractive as it can be used when needed. Heat from geothermal energy may be used directly, for heating purposes, or be used to generate electricity, depending on the temperature that can be reached. Temperature in Earth’s crust increases with depth, on average with about 30°C/km. Thus, the thermal energy content of the part of the Earth that is accessible with current drilling technology is vast.

EGS technology has only recently become increasingly feasible at the depths required in the Scandinavian shield, largely due to the drastically improved drilling techniques. Previously EGS has mainly been feasible only in relatively warm geological settings and shallower depths. The recent developments have given prospects of launching projects even in the cold geological settings relevant to Scandinavian conditions. The great depth required (estimated at 5 to 7 km), also poses new challenges for the scientific / technical knowledge. In our research, we examine the fundamental issues that are of the utmost importance for the implementation of EGS systems at great depths. Issues to be specifically investigated, in particular by means of model studies, are (i) mapping the relevant properties of bedrock at the great depths required by the EGS, (ii) analysis of optimal ways to stimulate, in order to produce an effective fracture network, without causing undesired induced seismicity and (iii) analysis of optimal modes of operation. In support of our modeling work, we have also conducted field experiments regarding how rock fractures are created and opened during water injection

Figueiredo, Bruno, Chin-Fu Tsang, and Auli Niemi (2020) The Influence of Coupled Thermomechanical Processes on the Pressure and Temperature due to Cold Water Injection into Multiple Fracture Zones in Deep Rock Formation. Geofluids Volume 2020, Article ID 8947258, 14 pages

Researchers: Auli Niemi, Chin-Fu Tsang.

Senast uppdaterad: 2022-08-03