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Geothermal ERA-NET


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Andrej Lapanje
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Organising and sharing geothermal data was recognized by the Geothermal ERA-NET partner countries as playing an important role in facilitating geothermal energy development in Europe. In particular, one of the aims of the Geothermal ERA-NET project 1 is dedicated to an assessment and feasibility study of the implementation of a European Geothermal Information Platform (EGIP). The envisaged EGIP is endowed with a web-portal access, by means of which European geothermal information can be accessed, retrieved and queried using modern ICT technologies, in particular collaborative e-Infrastructures. EGIP is a virtual platform, created through harmonized information, which goes beyond pure data sharing: it also involves the way and form how information and data are displayed, examined, and compared. A subset of the EGIP plan was implemented under the form of a pilot system (the EGIP pilot portal) and is the focus of this paper. 1 A European project funded by FP7-grant agreement n° 291866.
In 2012, the European Commission has provided a financial grant to launch a GEOTHERMAL ERA NET and support its development for four years until October 2016. Research and innovation programme owners and managers from 11 European countries have joined the ERA NET under the leadership of Iceland’s National Energy Authority, Orkustofnun, to realize the first steps of an integrated European geothermal energy research and innovation programme. Initial activities focused on exchange of information on national research and innovation ecosystems, identify shared goals, objectives, gaps, areas of necessary and unnecessary duplication. Subsequently, a number of Joint Activities of pan-European interest were established to learn how national funding agents collaborate and cooperate. Progress and added value in the joint activities – together with a shared vision that geothermal energy is crucial to Europe’s sustainable development and competitiveness – has resulted in the preparation of a more extensive cooperation via an ERA NET cofund, GEOTHERMICA. GEOTHERMICA will have at its core a joint call, an expansion of Joint Activities and is envisaged to run from 2016/2017 to 2020/2021. Thankfully, more European countries have indicated their willingness to join GEOTHERMICA.
Executive Summary Based on the results of the Geothermal ERA-NET work package (WP) 2 „Information exchange on national incentives and status of geothermal energy“, and WP4 “Development of joint activities”, the topical field of operational issues of geothermal energy installations was identified as one of the main barriers for the development of geothermal energy and as an urgent RD&D need mentioned by most of the participating countries in a ranking process. As a first step towards a European knowledge exchange on this topic, the Geothermal ERANET organized a workshop on operational issues on the 1st & 2nd of October 2015 in Vaals (NL). The theme was baptized OpERA – Operational issues in geothermal energy installations – by the Geothermal ERA-NET. 37 experts from 11 countries participated in the workshop. Country overviews, and four topical sessions on scaling, scaling & gas content, corrosion and re-injection issues were the issues that were discussed. These issues were documented in the “OpERA-Magna Carta”, Appendix 1 to this report. At the workshop, the “OpERA-Expert Group” was founded, to collaborate further and to create the current joint publication on operational issues in Europe. Some twenty experts from around Europe have contributed to this publication. It is structured in the same way as the workshop, presenting country overviews, and four topical chapters on scaling, gas content, corrosion and re-injection issues. The presentations at the workshop are Appendix 2 to this report. After the OpERA workshop, the Geothermal ERA-NET has decided to keep on working on operational issues. This will be done in two ways, firstly by implementing the “OpERApedia”, a wiki-style knowledge platform on operational issues, and secondly by stimulating innovations through further collaboration in the ERANET Cofund GEOTHERMICA. Further work on operational issues is will be important for optimal growth of geothermal energy in Europe. More: