Understanding, sustainable development and promotion of geothermal resources
The main activities of this research line, developed through participation and coordination in national (VIGOR, Atlante Geotermico) and international research projects (IMAGE, DESCRAMBLE, Geothermal ERA-NET, GEMex, DG-ETIP, GECO, GEOenvi), are aimed to enhance the understanding of the geological and chemical-physical processes occurring in lithospheric crustal levels in the presence of hydrothermal fluids and they are focused to the following topics:
Optimizing the methods for evaluation and exploration of geothermal resources by:
- The integration of geological, hydrogeological, geophysical, geochemical, isotopic, petrographic and the study of natural analogues of active geothermal systems for the characterization of hydrothermal and unconventional (EGS, supercritical) geothermal systems;
- The improvement of subsurface investigation techniques and the enhancing of geothermal modeling, through integrated geological, geophysical and geochemical modeling;
- The provision of analytical models for the assessment of the surface geothermal energy component;
- The definition of the methodology for the geothermal potential evaluation and mapping of geothermal resources exploitable by current or under development technologies.
Studies for the sustainable management of geothermal resources by:
- The reconstruction of reservoir conditions during drilling and exploitation of geothermal resources through fluid and rock analysis, numerical modeling and reactive transport modelling to optimize drilling and re-injection techniques;
- Physical-chemical investigations for the treatment of aggressive fluids and for the reduction of scaling phenomena;
- The development of high temperature tracers for the identification of deep hydraulic properties;
- Optimization of thermal energy production through geothermal heat pumps, and in combination with other renewable heat and heat and refrigerator subsurface storage techniques;
- Environmental monitoring and development of in situ (air, earth) and remote sensing analytical techniques in order to mitigate the potential environmental impacts in geothermal exploited areas.
Promotion of geothermal resources by:
- Organization and participation in Schools and professional courses in geothermal disciplines;
- Scientific popular explanation and promotion of geothermal energy through lectures, debates and media;
- Dissemination of information assets and implementation of the Italian geothermal platform, and participation in the development of the European Geothermal Information Platform and other international portals;
- Activities to study and improve the social acceptability of geothermal projects and to provide guidelines for the regulatory authorities and policy makers for the sustainable development of geothermal activities.
Participation in international coordination actions for research planning:
- activities as full member of the European Energy Research Alliance, Joint Program on Geothermal Energy and of the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC);
- activities as member of the Steering committee of the European Technology & Innovation Platform on Deep Geothermal (ETIP-DG, an open stakeholder group focused to enable and promote deep geothermal technology everywhere in Europe) and of the International Geothermal Association (IGA);
- supporting the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA);
- as member and presidency of the Unione Geotermica Italiana (UGI).
Coordination: Eugenio Trumpy (eugenio.trumpy(at)igg.cnr(dot)it)