World Geothermal Congress 2020+1
March - October, 2021

The GEO-URBAN Project - Identification and Assessment of Deep GEOthermal Heat Resources in Challenging URBAN Environments

James MCATEER, Duygu KIYAN, Giuseppe MAGGIO, Pilar QUERALT, Beatriz BENJUMEA, Paul STAFFORD, Sarah BLAKE, Julie CLARKE, The GEO-URBAN Consortium

[Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions, Ireland]

Deep geothermal resources in challenging, low-enthalpy settings are generally poorly understood and remain largely untapped. The GEO-URBAN project is funded by the EU GEOTHERMICA ERA-NET Cofund, and aims to investigate the deep geothermal resources of two urban locations using a novel combination of geophysical techniques. This three-year study is conducting an initial assessment of the potential for low enthalpy geothermal energy in two study areas, Dublin city, Ireland and Valles, Catalonia, Spain. A multi-disciplinary geophysical exploration strategy has been developed for both targets to overcome exploration challenges in a built-up urban environment. A combination of electromagnetic methods (including magnetotellurics and controlled source electromagnetics) will be utilised in conjunction with passive seismic methods (including H/V and ambient noise cross-correlation). This multi-disciplinary method is highly favourable in urban regions where sub-surface datasets are inadequate for geothermal exploration, and also for regions where funding for the collection of new datasets is limited. The two test regions are comprised of hard rock reservoirs, which are characterised as having low primary porosity. The procurement of accurate geological data, and in particular data regarding geological structures, is paramount to the exploitation of reservoirs dominated by secondary porosity, where fluid flow at depth is controlled by the interconnectivity of these structures. New geological models of each study area will be developed as part of the Geo-Urban project and the multi-disciplinary survey data will be a key dataset in assessing the potential resource at both locations. The identification of potential water-bearing structures at depth will in turn help to de-risk the drilling phase of any future commercial geothermal operations. Significant local stakeholder involvement is being undertaken to ensure that GEO-URBAN exploration activities align with local sustainable energy plans and district heating strategies. Furthermore, policy recommendations to assist the sustainable exploitation of deep geothermal energy resources in each region will be outlined. The overall objective of GEO-URBAN is to identify the geothermal resources available in two challenging urban locations and to demonstrate a commercialisation strategy that has the potential to be adapted in other similar locations, thus advancing the uptake of geothermal energy in the target areas.

        Topic: Resource Assessment Paper Number: 16055

         Session 8P: Poster 2 [Tuesday 11th May 2021, 11:00 pm] (UTC-8)
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