Section 6.2: Geothermal Energy Systems

We develop technologies for making use of the underground in the context of a sustainable, environmentally friendly energy supply.
The main purpose of our work in the Section Geothermal Energy Systems (formerly: Reservoir Technologies) is the exploration and development of reservoirs for energy purposes. This goes hand in hand with the development of reliable technologies to extract the Earth's heat. Because we approach these topics in a comprehensive, holistic way, the researchers in our section have background in various disciplines of Earth science and engineering disciplines.

International Centre for Geothermal Research ICGR

Since 2009 the international research activities of GFZ in the field of geothermal technologies are coordinated by the International Centre for Geothermal Research. Since then the International Centre for Geothermal Research at GFZ is a coordination platform for multidisciplinary international and national research projects on geothermal energy supply. Until the end of 2015 organized as one of the Technology Transfer Centres in the context of Exploration and Exploitation of the Subterranean Space the activities of the ICGR will be continued in the Section "Geothermal Energy Systems" by 2016. Through the lead of Prof. Dr. E. Huenges and inclusion of all ICGR staff into the Section "Geothermal Energy Systems" continuity of the current work is guaranteed.

Within international and national research cooperations topics of basic and applied research as well as their applications are adressed in large scale hands on projects which plot the whole process for an energetic use of the underground. The solution for an utilization of underground resources meet the challenge to contribute to strategies for the mitigation of climate changes by developing reliable geothermal technologies and innovative concepts of a sustainable and economic energy supply of power, heat and chill.

IPCC Activities

In the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wirkte Prof. Ernst Huenges contrinuted to the Special Report on Renewable Energies and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN):

Goldstein, B., G. Hiriart, R. Bertani, C. Bromley, L. Gutiérrez-Negrín, E. Huenges, H. Muraoka, A. Ragnarsson, J. Tester, V. Zui, 2011: Geothermal Energy. In IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation [O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, K. Seyboth, P. Matschoss, S. Kadner, T. Zwickel, P. Eickemeier, G. Hansen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

European Activities

ICGR is a founding member of the Joint Programme on Geothermal Energy (JPGE) in the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and Prof. Ernst Huenges is the coordinator of the Joint Programme. The Programme aims at providing an outstanding contribution bringing together the leading European geothermal research institutions in a strategically oriented Joint R&D Programme.

National Activities

Within the topic-oriented Helmholtz Research Programmes our group coordinates the topic "Geothermal Energy Systems" together with groups at KIT and UFZ.

In the cross-programme initiative Geoenergy our goal is to strengthen national research activities by a stronger link of existing in-situ laboratories in deep sedimentary rocks at Groß Schönebeck (geothermal) and at Ketzin (CO2 storage) together with the future GeoLaB in crystalline basement rocks and research on suitable simulation tools.

International Projects






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Ernst Huenges
Section Head
Prof. Dr.Ernst Huenges
Geothermal Energy Systems
Building A 69, Room 216
+49 331 288-1440


Martina Pakos
Geothermal Energy Systems
Building A 69, Room 214
+49 331 288-1441