Geoenergy

The Topic Geoenergy will address multiple utilization scenarios – also beyond the supply of
steerable base-load electricity from the subsurface – and provide essential contributions to meet the heating demand in Germany if the underground can be used to extract or seasonably store medium-temperature heat (<150°C).


The multidisciplinary approach encompassing fundamental and applied research in close collaboration with industry covers a wide range of scales and issues: from nano scale (e.g., development of smart nano particles as tracers),  to microscale (e.g., investigation of scalings including naturally occurring radioactive materials, porosity/permeability evolutions, multiphysics processes), and reservoir/system scale (e.g., seismicity mitigation, life-cycle assessment).


“All competences from pure physics to natural sciences such as geology are represented and show excellence in modeling and engineering analysis at several scales”. The outstanding rated research unit at KIT is encouraged to demonstrate geothermal high-temperature storage systems and heat production, e.g., at the KIT Campus North. Furthermore, the geothermal underground laboratory GeoLaB was designed as the first geothermal reservoir simulator for reservoir technology and borehole safety.

Selected Publications

P. Steinmetz, Y. C. Yabansu, J. Hötzer, M. Jainta, B. Nestler, S. R. Kalidindi, Analytics for microstructure datasets produced by phase-field simulations. Acta Materialia 103, S. 192–203 (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.actamat.2015.09.047


A. Zang, O. Stephansson, L. Stenberg, K. Plenkers, S. Specht, C. Milkereit, et al., Hydraulic fracture monitoring in hard rock at 410 m depth with an advanced fluid-injection protocol and extensive sensor array. Geophys. J. Int. 208 (2), S. 790–813 (2017) doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw430


J. Hötzer, O. S. Tschukin, M. B. Said, M. Berghoff, M. Jainta, G. Barthelemy, et al., Calibration of a multi-phase field model with quantitative angle measurement. J Mater Sci 51 (4), S. 1788–1797 (2016): doi: 10.1007/s10853-015-9542-7


E. Schill, A. Genter, T. Kohl, N. Cuenot, Enhancement of productivity in the Soultz EGS site by 20 hydraulic and chemical stimulation experiments and long-term circulation, Geothermics, 70 (2017) 110-124, doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.06.003


E. Gaucher, M. Schoenball, O. Heidbach, A. Zang, P. Fokker, J-D. van Wees, T. Kohl, Induced seismicity in geothermal reservoirs. A review of forecasting approaches. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 52, S. 1473–1490 (2015) doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.08.02


S. Held, A. Genter, T. Kohl, T. Kölbel, J. Sausse, M. Schoenball, Economic evaluation of geothermal reservoir performance through modeling the complexity of the operating EGS in Soultz-sous-Forêts. Geothermics 51, S. 270–280 (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2014.01.016


C. Meller, E. Schill, J.  Bremer, O. Kolditz, A. Bleicher, C. Benighaus, P. Chavot, M. Gross, A. Pellizzone, O. Renn, F. Schilling, T. Kohl, Acceptability of geothermal installations: A geoethical concept for GeoLaB, Geothermics, 73, 133-145, (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.07.008


K. Menberg, S. Pfister, P. Blum, P. Bayer, A matter of meters. State of the art in the life cycle assessment of enhanced geothermal systems. Energy Environ. Sci. 9 (9), S. 2720–2743 (2016) doi: 10.1039/C6EE01043A


J. Meixner, J. C. Grimmer, A. Becker, E. Schill, T. Kohl, Comparison of different digital elevation models and satellite imagery for lineament analysis: Implications for identification and spatial arrangement of fault zones in crystalline basement rocks of the southern Black Forest (Germany), Journal of Structural Geology, 108, 256-268 (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2017.11.006


M. Schoenball, L. Dorbath, E. Gaucher, J.F. Wellmann, T. Kohl, Change of stress regime during geothermal reservoir stimulation. GRL 41 (4), S. 1163–1170 (2014) doi: 10.1002/2013GL058514


Y. Abdelfettah, P. Sailhac, H. Larnier, P.-D. Matthey, E. Schill, Continuous and time-lapse magnetotelluric monitoring of low volume injection at Rittershoffen geothermal project, northern Alsace – France, Geothermics, 71, 1-11 (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.08.004


M. Stoll, F. M. Huber, G. K. Darbha, E. Schill, T. Schafer, Impact of gravity, collector surface roughness and fracture orientation on colloid retention kinetics in an artificial fracture. Journal of colloid and interface science 475, S. 171–183 (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2016.04.045


Y. Nusiaputra, H-J. Wiemer, D. Kuhn, Thermal-Economic Modularization of Small, Organic Rankine Cycle Power Plants for Mid-Enthalpy Geothermal Fields. Energies 7 (7), S. 4221–4240 (2014) doi: 10.3390/en7074221


N. Mundhenk, P. Huttenloch, R. Bässler, T. Kohl, H. Steger, R. Zorn, Electrochemical study of the corrosion of different alloys exposed to deaerated 80°C geothermal brines containing CO2.  Corrosion Science 84, S. 180–188 (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.corsci.2014.03.027


R. Haas-Nüesch, F. Heberling, D. Schild, J. Rothe, K. Dardenne, S. Jähnichen, E. Eiche, C. Marquardt, V. Metz, T. Schäfer, Mineralogical characterization of scalings formed in geothermal sites in the Upper Rhine Graben before and after the application of sulfate inhibitors. Geothermics, 71, 264-273 (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2017.10.006