Geothermal Energy Systems

This research topic focuses on the environment-friendly and economically sustainable utilization of geothermal energy for district heating and electrical power generation. Emphasis is on a concept addressing the generation or engineering of geothermal reservoirs to meet the requirements of sustained fluid-flow rates in various geological settings. Another facet of our research is the underground storage of thermal energy in aquifers.

This topic is coordinated by three institutes, next to the GFZ (Ernst Huenges) the KIT (Thomas Kohl) and the UFZ (Olaf Kolditz) are involved. For exploring geothermal systems in various scales, we apply combinations of field based geological, geophysical, and geochemical methods with reservoir geology and stress field analysis. We provide solutions to successfully generate heat exchangers at depth and to monitor and environmental safely operate geothermal systems at the interface between plant engineering issues and subsurface reservoirs in an interdisciplinary fashion. To facilitate the development of such a geothermal technology large research facilities and infrastructures are required.

For information on projects see here.

For ICGR-Newsletter see here.

  • How can we realize a safe access and sustainable geothermal utilization of the Earth’s subsurface? What are suitable stimulation treatments to improve the reservoir properties?
  • How can we reach an optimized extraction of heat at a minimum risk of adverse effects on the environment during production of geothermal energy?
  • How can novel techniques like fiber-optic sensing be used for borehole monitoring and coupled reservoir models for describing the dynamic processes in the reservoir during the entire cycle of the geothermal use?
  • How can we develop strategies including material selection to prevent scaling and corrosion processes during plant operation? What are appropriate plant design and optimization strategies in the fields of energy and process engineering?
  • How can we better understand the physical and chemical properties of geothermal fluids and their interactions with rocks and materials in order to predict the long-term behavior of geothermal reservoirs?


Ernst Huenges
Prof. Dr. Ernst Huenges
Building A 69, Room 216
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1440