Green Pipeline: The Oil and Gas to Geothermal Connection

The Green Pipeline is an effort to determine and contextualize the technical research and demonstration needs of the oil and gas sectors in pivoting to geothermal resources. There is a new awareness by the energy industry of the need to diversify their portfolio that was accelerated in the last 18 months from the impact of COVID-19 on world consumption changes as well as the arrival of broad political consensus to address climate change. As a result, in early 2021, a team of geothermal professionals developed and publicly distributed a survey instrument with an International Geothermal Association (IGA) supported team reviewing the results.

The survey responses highlighted well-known high-level challenges, yet few provided detailed research and demonstration challenges. The range in size and types of geothermal projects makes it difficult to say any one detail or technology will increase geothermal development.
Some examples of the high level challenges identified include:

  • Improved rate of penetration in harder and deeper rock, at higher temperatures, and wider bore diameters,
  • Derisking through improved exploration and regional 3D modelling,
  • Monitoring tools and wellbore production optimization,
  • Increase the rate of sustainable heat production per well,
  • Control fluid permeation through large volume of rock,
  • Increased heat conversion efficiency at lower delta T’s and lower flows,
  • Longer equipment lifetime in geothermal environments,
  • Reduction in induced seismicity and subsidence challenges,
  • Decreased O & M costs, lateral training of oil and gas professionals, and
  • Low-cost, efficient, standardized surface power plants for low-enthalpy resources.

Quotes attributable to the Technical Team

“The responses to the Green Pipeline survey showed clear call for numerous demonstration projects in parallel, at scale, and across the full thermal suite of geothermal resources. This is how we get to geothermal anywhere.” said Lawrence Molloy, Project Director.

Maria Richards with the SMU Geothermal Laboratory in Dallas, Texas said: “The Green Pipeline initiated the framework on how we can move forward with a technology roadmap for the oil and gas pivot to geothermal”.

“Technical responses to the survey included suggestions in exploration, drilling, reservoir management, and surface systems as well as various (and rapidly proliferating) drilling techniques.”  Graeme Beardsmore, IGA Board Member and Technical Team Member


You can Download the report here:

https://www.geothermal-energy.org/the-green-pipeline-2021/

We are very pleased to announce the official collaboration between the IGA and the Project “Geothermal Heat Utilization for Industrial Processes in the SICA member countries”, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The collaboration mainly aims at examining and strengthening geothermal direct use activities in the eight member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA). The joint activities in the next three years will focus on the establishment of a strong regional network, knowledge transfer and capacity building. Last but not least the implementation of demonstrative projects is the main focal point and helps significantly to bring new, efficient and innovative technologies to Central American industries and agriculture companies.

IGA Executive Director Marit Brommer upon signing the MoU with GIZ:
“On behalf of the IGA I am very pleased and excited signing the MoU between IGA and the GIZ-Project. We are embarking on the next steps for future collaboration in the Central American Region to drive geothermal entrepreneurship, create growth and plan for action on the ground. The network and intrinsic knowledge of the IGA combined with the geothermal development project of the GIZ and partners is the recipe for success, and we are looking forward making a difference for the local communities, businesses and our members.”

GIZ Project Manager Ana Lucia Alfaro said:
“Contributing to sustainable development in SICA member countries (Central America and Dominican Republic) and supporting the emission reductions through geothermal energy direct uses are part of our commitments. Today we celebrate bringing in important partners like IGA, this will enforce the benefits for the region.”

We are happy to embark on this journey together with strong partners, supporting and helping each other in our mission to contribute to the carbon free future and mitigate the climate change by highlighting the benefits of the geothermal energy source and direct uses.

On 19 September 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Geothermal Association (IGA) was signed, in which IGA agreed to:

  1. Develop Specifications and Guidelines for the application of UNFC-2009 to geothermal energy, hereafter referred to as the Texts.
  2. Maintain evergreen the Texts in a manner consistent with their proper application through regular and periodic review.
  3. Conduct its activities in relation to development and maintenance of the Texts through a transparent governance structure and processes that allows input from all stakeholders.
  4. Select a representative from the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification (now Expert Group on Resource Management) to participate in IGA development of the Texts.
  5. Invite a representative from the UNECE Expert Group to be an observer at meetings of the IGA Board of Directors.

Under this MoU, Specifications for Application of UNFC-2009 to Geothermal Energy Resources were jointly developed by IGA and UNECE and became operational on 30 September 2016.

On 30 December 2019, UNECE issued the UNFC Update 2019, prompting the need for an update of the Specifications, as well as of additional Guidance to facilitate implementation and uptake of the Specifications.

At the 74th meeting of IGA’s Board of Directors on 1st November 2020, Motion 74-2 was adopted to set up a dedicated UNFC Committee as Ad Hoc Committee, with Gioia Falcone as the Chair. The UNFC Ad Hoc Committee is mandated until May 2023 to carry out concrete, results-oriented activities in the work areas and with the objectives set out in the MoU.

More information: https://www.unece.org/energywelcome/areas-of-work/unfc-and-sustainable-resource-management/applications/energyseunfc-re/unfc-and-geothermal-energy.html

The new Geofutures Greeninvest project website has been launched.

The GeoFutures Facility is an insurance-based risk finance fund that will crowd-in international and national private sector investment into the geothermal power sector in East Africa (the “GeoFutures Facility”), with an initial focus on Kenya and Ethiopia.

GreenInvest is a grant funded initiative arising from Parhelion’s work to further develop innovative insurance products to facilitate the financing of climate sustainable enterprises.

Read about the work we do and find out more about our key partners here.

We at the IGA are delighted to embark on this journey and work with Parhelion and partners on the ‘GeoFutures – GreenInvest’project. We are active in 64 countries around the globe and serve our 6000 members through 35 affiliated country organisations. East Africa is a key region and offers an unlimited potential for harnessing the geothermal resource. Mobilising insurance underwriting capital to de-risk geothermal investment opportunities is crucial to see the actual projects implemented on the ground. We are looking forward to build the expertise in East Africa and simultaneously to engage in conversations with the wider geothermal sector to see the results transferred in other key geothermal markets and regions as well.


Press contact:
Dr. Marit Brommer, IGA Executive Director
E-Mail: marit@lovegeothermal.org


P4G news: https://p4gpartnerships.org/partnership/geofutures-greeninvest

The Baltic Symposium featured 12 country presentations and a high level overview on the global geothermal state of play presented by the President of the International Geothermal Association – Alexander Richter. In particular, the GeoTherm conference taking place on 14-15 February highlighted the increased awareness of geothermal energy in Germany and Central Europe.

The IGA was present with a booth showcasing our new Insider Club and the initiatives we are setting up with our partners on technical standards such as well designs and the UNFC geothermal specifications that we have deployed in three countries, Indonesia, St Lucia and the Caribbean.

Over 1200 people attended the conference which featured 15 presentations and 200 exhibitors.

Start-end date: 2018

On the 28th of February 2018, the IGA together with the International Energy Agency – Geothermal Technology Collaboration Programme (IEA Geothermal TCP) and the Exhibition Centre Offenburg offered an Asia Symposium with distinguished Asian and international experts. The Symposium was held one day prior to the GeoTHERM 2018.

Every year, the GeoTHERM expo & congress collaborates with a country or region, which is presented as Guest of Honour. For 2018, the Exhibition Centre Offenburg was delighted to welcome the countries of Asia as Guests of Honour.

Presentations from the Symposium can be downloaded below.

https://www.geothermal-energy.org/conferences_and_events/past_conferences/asia_symposium.html

Start-end date: 2017

On 14 – 15 February 2017, the IGA together with the International Energy Agency – Geothermal Technology Collaboration Programme (IEA Geothermal TCP) and the Exhibition Centre Offenburg offered a Latin America Symposium with distinguished Latin American and international experts. The Symposium was held one day prior to the GeoTHERM 2017.

Every year, the GeoTHERM expo & congress partners with a country or region which is presented as Guest of Honour. For 2017, the Exhibition Centre Offenburg is delighted to welcome the countries of Latin America as Guests of Honour.

Start-end date: 2016-2020

GEMex – Cooperation in Geothermal energy research Europe-Mexico for development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems and Superhot Geothermal Systems.

GEMex has the ambition to bring together the extended Mexican know how of discovering, developing, and deploying conventional geothermal energy systems with a variety of European expertise from similar geothermal energy systems (Italy, Iceland etc.), of developing EGS technology, and finding new approaches to make use of super-hot geothermal systems. The approach should lead to concepts for extended future deployment of geothermal energy in Europe and Mexico. This will be done by common site developments, one for hot-EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) and one for SHGS (Super-Hot Geothermal Systems). This approach will open synergies of competencies and technologies and will lead to an acceleration of the learning curve for geothermal development. Potential drill paths will be developed in the target areas in order to maximize the scientific output. The findings will be compared to extended experiences in EGS projects in Europe and elsewhere and with the few SHGS-projects in Europe (IDDP1) and Japan (Kakkonda).

More information about the project on: www.gemex-h2020.eu/index.php/en/

Start-end date: 2016-2020

The IGA is a partner in GSS-VET Project. Geothermal- and Solar Skills – Vocational Education and Training aims at providing new environmental skills for the construction sector. Training providers have not yet caught up with the new skills demand, creating an important skills gap in the current labour market. Following the identification of skills needs, the partners will create an innovative training including work-based and ubiquitous learning and flipped classroom for geothermal and for solar energy system installers (EQF level 4-5). The training content will be focused on technical skills but also on transversal ones, including entrepreneurship, ICT, interdisciplinary skills and ability to work effectively with people from other disciplines.

For the above an e-Learning Platform is to be designed with corresponding digitalized contents. 40 trainers and 200 workers will directly be trained during the project’s lifetime, and thanks to the involvement of VET providers, sectorial organizations (including an EU umbrella), regional authorities and other associated partners, 2,500 workers will be trained by 2025.

More information about the project on: www.gss-vet.eu