The closure of the German coal mining industry at the end of 2018, along with the recent announcement that the country is to decommission all its coal-burning power plants by 2038, will pose major challenges for the regions and industries affected. Energy sources, technologies and even job markets are all set to undergo radical change. And this is our cue to look at how renewable geothermal energy – which in a broader sense means borehole mining – can play its part in making a success of the energy transition process. This issue will therefore be focusing on deep geothermal projects, in other words …Read more

With my best regards // Mit freundlichem Glückauf
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen

ISSUE 06/2020

Thermal Energy Transition with Geothermal Energy: From Coal Mining to Heat Mining

Fraunhofer IEG is setting a good example at its location in Bochum, which it has developed with shallow geothermal energy which covers its heating and cooling requirements. In the future, it wants to explore the potential for deep geothermal energy in the TRUDI demonstrator. Source: Fraunhofer IEG

The coal phase-out in Germany by 2038 constitutes a major challenge for regions and industries. Technologies, energy sources and labor markets are changing fundamentally. But there are also opportunities for local actors that are worth to be explored. Even old mines could contribute to the success of the transition of energy production. The German Parliament installed the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy (Fraunhofer IEG) as a contact point for the necessary application-oriented research in the regions that are most affected by structural change.

Author: Prof. Dr. Rolf Bracke, Leiter der Fraunhofer-Einrichtung für Energieinfrastrukturen und Geothermie (Fraunhofer IEG) und Professor an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum/Germany

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GeoLaB – The Geoscientific Future Project for Germany

GeoLaB underground laboratory.Source: KIT

Geothermal energy can play an important role in the decarbonization of the German energy system. In order to make the great potential of geothermal energy in the crystalline basement economically viable, measures are taken to enhance existing permeable structures. However, a prerequisite for the public acceptance of such Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) is the minimization of possible induced seismicity. Their control can only be based on an understanding of the processes and interactions of the fluid with the reservoir. With the generic underground laboratory GeoLaB (Geothermal Laboratory in the Crystalline Basement), fundamental questions of reservoir technology and borehole safety of EGS are to be investigated. The planned experiments will significantly improve our understanding of the relevant processes in the …

Authors: Dr. Katharina Schätzler, Dr. Judith Bremer, Prof. Dr. Eva Schill und Prof. Dr. Thomas Kohl, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Karlsruhe, Prof. Dr. Michael Kühn, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, Potsdam, Prof. Dr. Olaf Kolditz, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, Leipzig, Prof. Dr. Ingo Sass, Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Darmstadt/Germany

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Renewable Geothermal Energy – Latest Developments in Geothermics in North Rhine-Westphalia: New Finds. New Projects. New Research Facilities.

Schematic representation of the hydrothermal reservoirs of North Rhine-Westphalia contained within the limestone deposits. Source: GD NRW

Geothermal resources have huge future potential and could well replace much of our fossil-fuel and nuclear based heat and electricity supplies. Geothermal energy is climate neutral and is available all year round. However, it presents significant technological challenges and is highly capital intensive. This applies both to near-surface geothermics and, more especially, to deep-level geothermal operations, where deep wellbores have to be drilled at enormous cost. Any expansion of geothermal exploitation over the years has therefore been very much dependent on the prevailing project funding conditions.

Author: AdB Dipl.-Ing. Ernst-Günter Weiß (BD), Dezernat 62, Bezirksregierung Arnsberg, Dortmund/Germany

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Geothermal Energy Utilisation in Austria

Austria’s geological units and location of geo-thermal wells. Source: Geoteam

By late 2020 a total of 77 deep geothermal wells had been drilled within the territory of Austria, representing a cumulative length of some 135 km. About two thirds of this figure, both in terms of number and cumulative length, comprised boreholes sunk in sedimentary basins, while the remainder were drilled in the Eastern Alpine units and consisted exclusively of wells intended for balneology and spa tourism. At the end of 2019 the installed capacity of deep geothermal systems amounted to 95 MW, to which can be added an estimated 10 MW for balneological systems. This total output of around 105 MW represents about one tenth …

Author: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johann Goldbrunner, Managing Director Geoteam Ges.m.b.H., Graz/Austria

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The Impact of Geothermal Energy on Natural Gas Production

Natural gas is besides from crude oil and coal one of the most important energy resources. However, during the depletion of a reservoir, the occurrence of liquids, e. g., water, condensates, is a well known phenomenon worldwide. Depending on the gas composition and the physical boundary conditions (pressure, temperature), water and/or condensate can precipitate out of the gas stream as the gas cools down and liquid loading of the well occurs when the gas flow is lower than a critical velocity. In order to optimise the gas production and for better understanding the liquid loading problem, a method has been developed that enables the simulation of the fluid temperature …

Authors: Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf K. Fruhwirth, Prof. Dr. Herbert Hofstätter, Dr. mont. Clemens Langbauer, Gernot Schwaiger M. Sc., Chair of Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Recovery, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Leoben/Austria

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The Innova Rig 418 Deep Drilling Rig – A Successful Model for Producing Geothermal Wells?

Geothermal project in Helsinki. Foto: Anger

The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the main stations of the Innova Rig Terra Invader 418 drilling rig from Herrenknecht Vertical GmbH, Schwanau/Germany, and its positioning on the national and international geothermal market since it was launched. The main features, advantages and benefits of the drilling rig are discussed, such as, e. g., sound protection during operation incorporated into the design, “hands free” technology, the small footprint as an important factor for …

Author: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Berthold Kibellus, Bereichsleiter Tiefbohrungen, H. Anger’s Söhne Bohr- und Brunnenbauges. mbH, Hessisch Lichtenau/Germany

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The Current Legal Framework for Geothermal Drilling

Geothermy is a raw materials production process and therefore it has a close association with mining law, unless the activity in question is strictly property related. However, even in this latter case mining regulations will take effect if the drilling extends to a depth of more than 100 m. A general operating plan is not in fact required in this instance and a main operating plan is deemed to be sufficient, this is to be accompanied by special operating plans if further drilling is to be carried out. Mining subsidence liability is not explicitly prescribed …

Author: Prof. Dr. Walter Frenz, Maître en Droit Public, Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Berg, Umwelt- und Europarecht (BUR), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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Acceptance of Deep Geothermal Energy – Communication as Crucial Factor

Communication during project phases (Borg, A.; Bauer, M.: Tiger-Kommunikationskonzept tiefe Geothermie. Berlin, Heidelberg; Springer (2017)).

Energy from deep and near-surface geothermal energy sources can make a significant contribution to the energy transition in Germany. In contrast to solar and wind energy, however, geothermal energy as a renewable energy source has yet to stake out a significant position in the general public’s awareness. Geothermal projects often run into opposition from a critical public. Reports are characterised by negative headlines, concerns about risks that are difficult to assess and incalculable costs. Moreover, energy policies are often marked by uncertainties concerning the future role of geothermal energy as part of the energy mix. Exploitation of the opportunities arising …

Author: Dipl.-Psych. Anna Borg, CBM GmbH, Bexbach/Germany

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Opinion Leaders in the Digital Age – Social Network Analysis for Renewable Energies on Twitter

Domains of the 50 accounts with the highest followership (relative and absolute values). Source: Hochschule Mittweida

Evaluating opinions, sentiments and relationships within groups become increasingly easy due to wide availability of data on social media platforms. This article discusses aforementioned aspects for a Twitter network consisting of 37,760 German tweets related to renewable energies which were collected for the year 2019. Besides identifying the most frequent words like energy revolution, CO2, power, Germany and coal, this paper also evaluates the reach and importance of specific tweets and individuals. While the follower count …

Authors: Stefanie Walter M.Eng./M.A., Kai-Jannis Hanke B.Sc., Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, Mittweida/Germany

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