New Brochure of the GAB

Reserach Results of the Project's first Term

Having successfully completed the first term of the Geothermal-Alliance Bavaria (GAB), we are pleased to hand in our brochure. The brochure aims to present the most important research results of the GAB from the respective subprojects in a condensed form to provide an overall picture. It is intended to give insights into research institutions, plant operators, authorities, planning offices, politicians, as well as any interested followers.

The research network of the Geothermal-Alliance Bavaria has strongly established itself in its four-year project period from 2016 to 2019. Interdisciplinary research of engineers and geoscientists enabled to extensively address important questions in the field of deep geothermal energy in cooperation with geothermal plant operators and authorities. Thorough hydrochemical investigations made it possible to quantitatively understand the formation of undesired deposits and to take appropriate countermeasures. In the area of plant operation, optimal operating strategies for geothermal power plants were developed to increase the efficiency and thus the profitability of the technology. The geothermal reservoirs in southern Bavaria have been investigated taking into account its properties, providing a better insight into regional trends of expected productivity and possible risks such as induced seismicity. The exploration measures carried out in north-eastern Bavaria also provided profound understanding of the subsurface and subsequently an important step towards a petrothermal pilot project in Bavaria. Furthermore, the new Joint Degree Master Course GeoThermie / GeoEnergy was effectively established by FAU and TUM.

The brochure can be downloaded here: GAB_Broschüre2020.

Visualization of crack propagation in rocks

APPLICATION OF HIGH SPEED CAMERAS

The research groups 'Simulation in Applied Mechanics' supervised by Dr. Stefan Kollmannsberger at the TUM Chair of Computational Modeling and Simulation and 'Geothermal Energy' coordinated by Prof. Kurosch Thuro at the Department of Engineering Geology are investigating questions concerning crack propagation and its precise simulation. In deep geothermal energy the failure mechanism in reservoir rock plays an extremely important role. In the past microseismical events have occurred at geothermal projects due to geothermal production triggered by fracture processes and the displacement of interfaces in the subsurface. A good underground model with appropriate simulation can anticipate identification of major risks. However reservoir and borehole stability modelling is often based on simple literature values or assumptions of geomechanical rock characteristics. This can lead to inaccurate prediction of the fracture behaviour and crack propagation. Within the framework of the Geothermal-Alliance Bavaria, the reservoir and borehole stability topics are therefore increasingly being addressed. The characterisation of reservoir rocks is to be supplemented by a digital model, which includes not only the facies but also the fracture behaviour. The digital model will be based on computer tomography, high-speed cameras and acoustic emission. In this video to give a brief overview, the Department of Engineering Geology presents the capabilities of the high-speed cameras together with a brief project description.

Combined Heat and Power from hydrothermal energy in Germany

ASSESSMENT OF THE GEOTHERMAL POTENTIAL

The latest study investigates the potential of hydrothermal geothermal energy for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation in Germany. The analysis provides a sound overview of existing geothermal power plants and their thermodynamic and economic performance. Starting from the theoretical potential of hydrothermal heat, the technical and economic potential has been addressed by analysing the existing geothermal plants. For this purpose, the thermodynamic and economic performance of the operating power plants has been analysed and models for efficiency and production costs have been developed. According to the study a technical potential of 12.2 PWh and 16.7 PWh and an economic potential of 9.1 PWh and 12.5 PWh can be achieved. To derive an annual contribution from the economic potential, the regeneration of the resource has also been taken into account. In view of a sustainable exploitation rate, an annual economic potential of 9.1 TWh/a and 12.5 TWh/a can be aquired.

The assessment of the geothermal potential in Germany is a key for political decisions, especially with regard to future adjustments of the feed-in tariffs set out in the EEG.

The study was recently published by the journal 'Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews' and is available free of charge until 4 February 2020 via following link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1aEtQ4s9Hvxm5u

Geothermal-Alliance Bavaria

The Geothermal-Alliance Bavaria (GAB) addresses questions of research and practice in the field of deep geothermal energy.

The overall objective of the GAB is to strengthen geothermal energy as a renewable energy resource for the domestic energy market so that it can make a significant contribution to the CO2-reduction targets.

The Technische Universität München (TUM), the GeoZentrum Nordbayern of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and the University of Bayreuth are participating in the research group. The Bayerische Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst funds the collaborative research project for a project duration of four years.

The GAB combines diverse and interdisciplinary research strategies:
Approaches for optimising operations as well as the expansion of the economical and technical potential are pursued in the same way as the reduction of the exploration risk of geothermal drilling by improved reservoir analysis.

  • Surficial optimising operations
    • Increasing of plant availability
    • Studies on operational strategies and maintenance
    • Improvement of dynamics and flexibility
  • Expansion of the economic potential by
    • Minimization of the exploration risk of geothermal drilling due to an improved reservoir understanding
    • Implementation of efficiency measures for power plants
    • Examination of flexible cogeneration of heat and power concepts
  • Expansion of technical potential through research in the field of petrothermal geothermal energy


In addition to the research approaches, it is also of great importance to build up a network between the operators and the scientific community. Valuable operating experience can thus be exchanged and used.

For this purpose, the GAB's project management has reissued the "Wissenstransfer Süddeutsches Molassebecken" event series, creating an exchange platform. Further information on this and other events and activities of the GAB can be found in the menu under Outreach: Media & Events.

If you would like to be informed regularly about events of the GAB, please contact us!

Course of studies

Also included is a master's degree course with a comprehensive range of studies on geoscientific, energy engineering, business and energy-related issues of geothermal projects:

The joint master's degree course "GeoThermie / GeoEnergy" of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and the Technical University Munich (TUM) started for the first time in the winter term 2017/18.

The beginning of studies in the master "GeoThermie/GeoEnergie" is possible in winter semesters.
More information about registration can be found here.


The aim is to train highly qualified specialists in the field of geothermal energy for the growth market of renewable energies. The study course provides relevant teaching contents from the exploration and development of the resource to the energetic use and storage of heat energy.

At the FAU, the GeoZentrum Nordbayern is organizing the lectures, to which the Ludwig-Maximilians-University contributes its expertise in the field of applied geophysics. At the TUM, the Engineering Faculty of Bau Geo Umwelt looks after the new course of study. External lecturers from industry also provide a strong practical reference. During the current semester, most of the events are held in Erlangen; in Munich, block classes are held.

Detailed information about the masters program as well as application and admission material:

Seedfunding

The Seedfunding program is to launch a competition for ideas, which can be used to respond to short-term research needs. Geothermal energy research projects from the GAB can also be developed.

The application modalities of the GAB's seedfunding program as well as information on the currently supported projects of the 2017 duration can be found under the menu point Seedfunding.