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Geothermal potential assessment for a low carbon strategy: A new systematic approach applied in southern Italy

Trumpy, E., Botteghi, S., Caiozzi, F., Donato, A., Gola, G., Montanari, D., Pluymaekers, M.P.D., Santilano, A., van Wees, J.D., Manzella, A.
Energy 2016 v.103 pp. 167-181
carbon, carbon dioxide, cooling, electric power, geothermal energy, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, issues and policy, models, permeability, power generation, Italy
In this study a new approach to geothermal potential assessment was set up and applied in four regions in southern Italy. Our procedure, VIGORThermoGIS, relies on the volume method of assessment and uses a 3D model of the subsurface to integrate thermal, geological and petro-physical data. The method thus produces 2D geothermal potential maps for three different uses: district heating, district heating and cooling, and electrical power production. Our study focused on carbonate reservoirs, which usually present an excellent natural permeability and important geothermal gradients at depth. Our computations were possible thanks to the large quantity of data available from hydrocarbon exploration that largely investigate deep-seated reservoirs. Based on geothermal potential available for power production we estimate the contribution of the geothermal energy in the CO2 emissions reduction in the study regions. Moreover policy makers as well as investors can use our maps to establish new policies and to locate the most promising places for geothermal development, in line with the international low carbon strategy.