World Geothermal Congress 2020+1
March - October, 2021

Life Cycle Assessment and Economic Impacts of the Rittershoffen EGS Geothermal Plant, Upper Rhine Graben, France

Paula PEREZ LOPEZ, Guillaume RAVIER, Astu Sam PRATIWI, Albert GENTER, Isabelle BLANC

[MINES Paristech, France]

The Rittershoffen geothermal plant is a deep Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) project initiated in 2011 and located in Northern Alsace, French Upper Rhine Graben. This geothermal plant, in operation since 2016, supplies 25% of the industrial heat demand of Roquette Frères bio-refinery at Beinheim, 10 km east of Rittershoffen. This study assesses the sustainability of this plant with a dual perspective over the complete life cycle covering the exploration and drilling phase, the construction of the geothermal plant, its operation over 25 years and its end of life: i) the economic aspects and ii) the environmental performance. With regard to the economic aspect, the complete life cycle costs were estimated, by accounting for the capital, operational and dismantlement costs. Capital expenditure of this project includes the phases of exploration, drilling and construction of the heat geothermal plant. 25 years of operational cost were considered, and estimation of the power plant dismantlement was also integrated in the study. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is widely recognized at the international level as a relevant framework for assessing environmental impacts of energy pathways. The LCA methodology has been applied to assess the performance of Rittershoffen heat plant by generating a comprehensive life cycle inventory necessary to quantify the environmental impacts related to the categories of climate change, human toxicity, particulates matter (PM 2.5)and ionizing radiation. The results of this case-specific study present a comparison of environmental and economic aspects that are rarely analyzed hand in hand in geothermal projects. The development of reliable quantitative assessments of EGS projects may contribute to support the decision-making process, thanks to the identification of the main environmental and economic contributors, and to improve the public acceptance, thanks to a more efficient communication and more transparent information.

        Topic: Sustainability and Climate Change Paper Number: 05012

         Session 8B: Sustainability and Climate Change 2 -- Life Cycle Assessments [Tuesday 13th April 2021, 02:00 pm] (UTC-8)
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