Integrated Research as Key to the Development of a Sustainable Geothermal Energy Technology

Carola Meller, Judith Bremer, Sabine Baur, Thomas Bergfeldt, Philipp Blum, Tina Canic, Elisabeth Eiche, Emmanuel Gaucher, Veit Hagenmeyer, Frank Heberling, Sebastian Held, Sarah Herfurth, Jörg Isele, Tobias Kling, Dietmar Kuhn, Ankit Kumar, Dominik Mayer, Birgit Müller, Thomas Neumann, Britta NestlerFabian Nitschke, Alexandra Nothstein, Yodha Nusiaputra, Pia Orywall, Max Peters, David Sahara, Thorsten Schäfer, Eva Schill, Frank Schilling, Elisabeth Schröder, Michael Selzer, Madeleine Stoll, Hans Joachim Wiemer, Stefanie Wolf, Michael Zimmermann, Thomas Kohl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As estimated by the International Energy Agency, geothermal power can contribute to 3.5 % of worldwide power and 3.9 % to heat production by 2050. This includes the development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGSs) in low-enthalpy systems. EGS technology is still in an early stage of development. Pushing EGS technologies towards market maturity requires a long-term strategic approach and massive investments in research and development. Comprehensive multidisciplinary research programs that combine fundamental and applied concepts to tackle technological, economic, ecological, and safety challenges along the EGS process chain are needed. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has defined a broad research program on EGS technology development following the necessity of a transdisciplinary approach. The research concept is embedded in the national research program of the Helmholtz Association and is structured in four clusters: reservoir characterization and engineering, thermal water circuit, materials and geoprocesses, and power plant operation. The proximity to industry, closely interlinked with fundamental research, forms the basis of a target-orientated concept. The present paper aims to give an overview of geothermal research at KIT and emphasizes the need for concerted research efforts at the international level to accelerate technological breakthrough of EGS as an essential part of a future sustainable energy system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-1006
Number of pages42
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • energy transfer
  • enhanced geothermal systems
  • geothermal energy
  • power plants
  • sustainable resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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