Geco – a European project for zero-emission geothermal energy production

Well heads at Hellisheidi power plant of Reykjavik Energy (source: flickr/thinkgeonergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 21 Oct 2018

The international research project Geco - exploring zero-emission geothermal energy production - is combining 17 European partners in Iceland, Italy, Turkey, and Germany.

A recent article by GreenPlanner in Italy provides details about the project Geco – Geothermal Emission Control – included in the Horizon 2020 funding program by the European Union dedicated to research and innovation. Through the program, the project has received funding of EUR 16 million (about $19 million) to develop a zero-emission geothermal energy .

The geothermal energy uses the natural heat of the Earth due to the thermal energy released by natural processes nuclear decay of radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium, naturally contained within the earth’s crust (core, mantle and the Earth’s crust).

The aim of the Geco project is to spread sustainable energy technologies without environmental impact, contributing to the increase in the social acceptability of geothermal energy, through the establishment of a network involving the involvement of seventeen European partners, including the University of Florence, the (Italian) National Research Council , the Arezzo-based company Graziella Green Power and its subsidiary Magma Energy Italia. In particular, the company from Arezzo will be among the companies involved in the development of environmentally sustainable geothermal power plants .

The Geco project

The Geco project will contribute to the production of environmentally sustainable geothermal energy in Europe and the world. This process will be carried out with the application of innovative technologies that can significantly reduce the aeriform emissions of geothermal plants, re-injecting the geothermal fluid and its non-condensable gases into the subsoil and thus achieving a secure confinement.

Some of these technologies have been recently developed and successfully tested on pilot projects in Iceland, so the Geco project will have to demonstrate its effectiveness and applicability in order to then spread it to the rest of the continent.

By implementing an accurate environmental monitoring program together, this phase will be carried out in four distinct geothermal systems: a high temperature basaltic reservoir in Iceland, a high temperature gneiss reservoir in Italy, a high temperature volcanic-clastic reservoir in Turkey and a low temperature sedimentary reservoir in Germany. The Geco project , finally, also provides training sessions and interdisciplinary seminars to raise awareness of geologists, engineers, researchers and industry towards sustainable geothermal .


Source: GreenPlanner