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Joined efforts in finding innovative solutions for geothermal energy development

Joined efforts in finding innovative solutions for geothermal energy development Chiusdino geothermal plant, Tuscany/ Italy (source: Enel Green Power)
Alexander Richter 8 Nov 2020

Innovative solutions against climate change are much needed, so four European universities have joined forces as part of the EASYGO project in the IDEA League to push innovations in geothermal development.

Researchers from four leading European technical universities are looking for innovative solutions against climate change as part of the EASYGO project in the IDEA League.

The use of geothermal energy will play a key role in the fight against climate change – experts with geothermal expertise are accordingly in demand. In spring 2020, Dr. Maren Brehme on behalf of the IDEA League EU funding of EUR 3.4 million for the implementation of the EASYGO project. With this project, which starts in November 2020, 13 doctoral students from the four partner universities – TU Delft, ETH Zurich, RWTH Aachen and Politecnico di Milano – can investigate research questions from the entire chain of geothermal energy generation. «To cope with the energy transition, we need bundled European know-how from our leading technical universities. This project is an important step in this direction, ”says Sarah Springman, Rector of ETH Zurich and President of the IDEA League.

United efforts for innovation

Thanks to the extensive research infrastructure available to the doctoral students, the consortium is able to enable cutting-edge research. The researchers also have access to all facilities at the participating universities. These include, for example, DAPwell on the campus of the TU Delft, the research boreholes at RWTH Aachen University in Weisweiler, the Turboden power plants in Germany, the Grimsel Test Site and the underground laboratories Mont Terri, Bedretto and Bochum, some of which are run by ETH Zurich, respectively at RWTH Aachen University. “In the IDEA League we are convinced that the combined strength of our strategic alliance – with five leading scientific and technical universities – opens up unique opportunities for connection, inspiration and innovation in Europe,” says Leslie Zachariah-Wolff, Secretary General of the IDEA League .

Interdisciplinary training network

The EASYGO project will focus on all aspects of geothermal energy generation: from technical planning to extraction and injection to power plant operation. Questions such as “What is needed for the safe use of geothermal systems?” and “How can we operate geothermal systems efficiently?” are treated from different perspectives. Geology, geophysics, geochemistry, advanced modelling and process engineering are integrated into the research process. A central goal of EASYGO as an Innovative Training Network is to train specialists in the field of geothermal energy. Maren Brehme, assistant professor for geothermal energy at the TU Delft and head of the EASYGO project, is confident: “I expect that the Training Network will bring us significantly closer to a new geothermal training standard. The project is a concrete example of how we strive for excellence together and thus contribute to a more sustainable future for all of us. ”

IDEA League

The IDEA League is a strategic alliance of five leading technical universities in Europe: TU Delft, ETH Zurich, RWTH Aachen, Politecnico di Milano and Chalmers University of Technology. The association was founded in order to make targeted use of synergies between these universities. By combining the knowledge, experience and resources of each individual university, the aim is to find joint solutions for the global tasks of today’s world.

Source: Press release ETH Zurich