The GEOthermal Research Group
The cooperative project Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems (DRG) aims at understanding the relationship of water and magma in the roots of volcanoes and how heat is transferred into geothermal systems to maintain their energy. Furthermore, the project focuses on the design of wells and well heads for high temperatures, as well as methods for utilizing superheated steam from greater depths.
The project is managed within a cluster cooperation called GEORG. This Icelandic entity is financially supported by the National Energy Authority (Orkustofnun), Icelandic power companies Landsvirkjun, Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik Energy), and HS Orka, and the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP). The IDDP has several partners from Europe and USA, making both IDDP and GEPRG leading international players in geothermal research.
By enhancing research and development of geothermal resources in a sustainable way, geothermal energy will constitute an important part of reducing the world dependence on carbon-based energy sources. Hence, the foundation of GEORG can be vital. It is based on the principles of creating a critical mass of joint resources and efforts to break through existing scientific and technical barriers to innovation in the field. This may lead to increasing the number of qualified experts in geothermal research, engineering, design and technical exploitation of the resource.
The research within GEORG is performed by three groups made up of representatives from universities, research institutes, engineering companies and energy companies. The latest technology is be applied in surveying, resistance measurements and seismic measurements, petrology and geochemistry. In addition, new simulation models will be developed. These models will be used to simulate heat transfer and operation of geothermal boreholes for high temperature steam. Training young scientists to work in this field will be an area of heavy focus for this project.
The project will be ongoing over the next three years and the partners have pledged direct financial support amounting close to 100 million ISK. In addition, they will provide support through other similar projects the partners are working on. More information about geothermal energy in Iceland can be found here.