A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

From hot rock to useful energy: A global estimate of enhanced geothermal systems potential

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Aghahosseini Arman, Breyer Christian
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Applied Energy
Volume number: 279
ISSN: 0306-2619
JUFO-Level of this publication: 3
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2020092575809


This study demonstrates the theoretical, technical, optimal economic and
sustainable potential of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) globally. A
global estimate of EGS is presented in a 1°×1° spatial resolution.
Constructed temperature at depth maps are computed for every 1 km thick
layer, from 1 to 10 km. Multiple factors such as surface heat flow,
thermal conductivity, radioactive heat production, and surface
temperature are involved, and obtained from various sources and
assumptions. The global EGS theoretical potential is assessed. Available
heat content is then estimated using technical constraints for the
temperature equal to or higher than 150 °C for any 1 km depth, and
presented as thermal energy and electrical power capacity. The EGS
optimal economic potential is derived from the optimum depth and the
corresponding minimum levelised cost of electricity. The global optimal
economic potential in terms of power capacity is found to be about 6 and
108 TWe for the cost years of 2030 and 2050, respectively.
If economic and water stress constraints are excluded, the global EGS
potential can be as much as 200 TWe. Further, an industrial
cost curve is developed for the levelised cost of electricity as a
function of EGS technical power capacity. The findings indicate that
around 4600 GWe of EGS capacity can be built at a cost of 50
€/MWh or lower. A method is applied to measure the sustainable
geothermal resource base. The obtained sustainable potential is found to
be 256 GWe in 2050. Results are presented on a country basis and globally.

Last updated on 2020-02-10 at 09:32