Integrating geothermal project development and water management issues
18 March 2021
Geothermal energy projects must be prioritised, and development accelerated to reach the European Commission’s 55% emissions reduction target by 2030. In a vast majority of geological settings geothermal energy is produced thanks to the abstraction of thermal groundwater, which carries the energy to surface. However, these thermal groundwater resources may be valuable assets for other applications (for example for balneological use). Furthermore, they are often in hydraulic connection with other shallower aquifers used for other purposes (e.g. drinking water).
During drilling, unwanted connection among aquifers through the wells may cause disturbance of non-targeted, or protected aquifers. In addition, the excessive production of thermal groundwater or the lack of reinjection may lead to the modifications of the reservoirs’ physical and chemical status, or have negative impacts on the surface ecosystems in case thermal water is discharged on the surface. Therefore, the effective completion of geothermal projects and their sustainable operation requires the consideration of water management aspects as well, regulated by the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC).
In this event the expert panel discussed the complex interactions between groundwater management and geothermal energy production aspects, potential conflicts and synergies from policy, industry and scientific point of view. It also outlined a set of recommendations and best practices for enabling a viable governance of geothermal resources considering different priorities of uses and protection of aquifers.
Session 1: National overview
Session 2: Round table “How to facilitate the dialogue between water management and geothermal energy use?”
The speakers of Session 1 will discuss with:
Q&A session with the audience
Watch the recording of the GEOENVI webinar here:
18 March 2021
10:00 am -12:00pm (CET)