Cutting-edge science at the 5th European Geothermal Workshop at KIT
The workshop is a joint initiative of the University of Strasbourg and KIT organized annually in an alternating schedule between the two institutions. The EGW was chaired by Thomas Kohl from KIT and Jean Schmittbuhl from the University of Strasbourg. This joint initiative took place this year under the umbrella of the European H2020 projects DESTRESS and DEEPEGS. It was fully sponsored by DFH (Deutsch-Französische Hochschule) and EUCOR (The European Campus) / MWK (Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg).
The growing interest in the 5th event of the EGW series is reflected by the large number of young and experienced scientists from 18 countries with industry representatives and German, French and USA administration officials attending the workshop. A total of 155 participants attended 80 scientific oral or poster presentations, including keynotes of renowned scientists such as that about the geoscientific landmark deep drilling project in Iceland reaching supercritical temperature conditions with more than 450°C, and novel low-cost imaging techniques of the geothermal reservoirs in the Rhine Graben. Concentrating on the international exchange of results, the scientific discussion took place in a most creative atmosphere. The high quality contributions are planned to be published in a special issue of the Helmholtz sponsored open-access "Geothermal Energy Journal".
To strengthen contacts between German and French representatives of geothermal industry and mining authorities, a special session was organized with focus on the geothermal development in the Rhine Graben, the most important geothermal area in central Europe. It was followed by an open discussion between representatives from industry and administration, and scientists. Major project bottlenecks were identified which require scientific responses and the scientists highlighted their expectations for efficient and sustainable development of geothermal resources in the Rhine Graben. For the first time, this concentration of expertise was assembled and already led to scheduling further exchange between French and German administration. This newly established EGW format was complemented by a 1-day field trip to the operating geothermal power plants of Rittershoffen and Soultz-sous-Forêts in Alsace organized by ÉS-Géothermie.
The participants highly welcomed this diversified program setting new standards for future geothermal conferences. This event demonstrates the outreach of the Helmholtz Renewable Energy Program at KIT. We are looking forward to the 6th EGW, next year in Strasbourg that will also be supported by the European Energy Research Alliance.
Institute of Applied Geosciences – Division of Geothermal Research, 25.10.2017