Underground Construction | Geothermal Energy

Deep Geothermics – inter-disciplinary Challenge promoting Innovation – Overview on the State of the Art

The deep geothermal exploitation of energy in the form of heat and electricity will become ever more significant in future on account of the scarcity of fossil energy sources both for ecological and economic reasons. Numerous advantages possessed by this form of energy belonging to the renewable sector speak in its favour. Its baseload capacity, environmental compatibility, low space requirement represent only a few of them. This report is intended to supply a short overview of the state of the art of the available methods for obtaining deep geothermal energy and for producing wells extending underground as well as those created from under the surface. It does not claim to be complete far rather – in conjunction with the editorial in this issue of tunnel – it is intended to provide stimulation to examine this sophisticated and innovative topic of underground construction.

Temperatures in the ground are not distributed evenly. Outside of Europe there are sections of the earth’s crust, where the geothermal depth range amounts to between 90 and 125 m/°C, whereas in Europe for instance, 11 m/°C is registered in the Swabian Uplands and 60 m/°C at the Gotthard. Today it is believed that exploitation of this heat can still our civilization’s hunger for energy for many thousands of years to come without any problem.

Forms of geothermal Exploitation

By and large as far exploiting the earth’s heat by deep geothermal means is concerned, a distinction is drawn between...

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