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Norway invests $4 million in geothermal research project

Geiranger Fjord, Norway (source: flickr/ hans.griep, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 5 Jan 2012

The Norwegian Research Council has granted US$ 4 million for the 4-year NEXT-Drill project that is to develop and experimentally test wells and drilling technology under a consortium of research institutions and companies.

Reported this week, “The Research Council of Norway has granted NOK 24 million (US$ 4 million) to the four-year project NEXT-Drill, in which scientists and industry will develop the technology and tools needed to produce geothermal heat from the earth.

Geothermal heat is available all over the world, and is a clean, stable, inexhaustible, and “weather-proof” source of energy. At Noway’s latitudes, the ground temperature rises by about 20°C per kilometre into the crust.

Power from this source of energy could play a significant role in the global green energy mix.

With its strong and innovative oil industry, Norway is in a unique position to capture geothermal heat, and drilling technology has evolved significantly in the course of the past ten years, as oil and gas deposits become more and more difficult to access.

NEXT-Drill does not primarily concern deep drilling, but will form the basis for it in the future. The focus is rather on more efficient drilling and new methods of drilling in hard rock.

The expert group that is going to develop and experimentally test wells and drilling technology includes scientists from SINTEF, NTNU, IRIS and the University of Stavanger.

A number of Norwegian groups are already focusing on deep geological energy, and several of them are collaborating with the new project.

tence project and it will offer a basis for close cooperation between the participating research institutes and universities. The industrial consortium includes energy companies Statoil and Statnett, Atlas Copco Scoroc, the leading Swedish manufacturer of equipment for drilling in hard rock, and a number of Norwegian entrepreneur and technology companies such as Resonator, Norhard, Pen-Rock and Rock Energy. SINTEF is coordinating the project.”

Source: Sintef