12th edition of the European Geothermal PhD Days

The organizing committee of European Geothermal PhD Days (EGPD)-2021 is pleased to announce the 12th EGPD will be held for its first time in France, at CY Cergy Paris Université, nearby Paris, in collaboration with Université de Neuchâtel between February 15th and 16th.

This year, EGPD will be jointly organized with higher-education programme of the MEET EU-Project “Geothermal Winter School” during the same week. Please visit MEET website for further information about this joint event.

France and Switzerland take part in the European production of geothermal energy with both electricity and heat.

In France, geothermal electricity represented a total installed power of 8MW in 2018 (prediction of 53MW in 2023). It is produced in Soultz-sous-Forets (170°C, 1.7 MW, up to 12 GWh/year, in continental France) and in Bouillante (250°C, 13.5 MW, 84 GWh in 2016, located in Guadeloupe, French West Indies). Trials are also made for electricity production at much lower temperature (around 80°C, in Soultz-sous-Forets and from oil wells; H2020 MEET program). Heat is produced on the continent for large scale urban heating (Paris basin, total installed power of 450MWth, and Aquitanian basin) so that the country is the second largest producer of heat from deep geothermal energy in the European Union, with 135 ktoe. In addition, the Paris and Aquitaine region rests on hydrocarbon reservoirs that are at their end-of-life and can contribute to the increase of geothermal resources through co-production or reconversion of a large number of abandoned wells. This field of research and development is key for spreading geothermal energy in Europe and worldwide. One can notice that the world’s oldest geothermal district heating system has been operated in Chaudes-Aigues since the 15th century!

In Switzerland energy strategy 2050, geothermal energy will play a significant role in the ecological transition for both electricity ( 490 MW el. by 2050) and heat. This is accompanied by an intensification of the research effort and a multiplication of industrial projects aiming at exploiting heat at intermediate depth for district heating and large depth for electricity production.

Research on geothermal at CY Cergy Paris Université (CYU, France) has been ongoing for 15 years and is supported by the French agency for environment and energy management (ADEME, Geotref program, Guadeloupe) and the European Commission (H2020 MEET, several sites in Europe including Soultz-sous-Forets). It allows the university to cooperate with industries to improve the knowledge about fluid pathways within the earth’s crust.

Université de Neuchâtel (UniNe, Switzerland) is a leading institution in geothermal research and education with currently two research chairs dedicated to geothermics. Its M.Sc program in hydrogeology and geothermics is unique in Europe. UniNe offers continuing education in deep geothermal (CAS DeeGeoSys) with participants joining from all over Europe. UniNE is participating to numerous geothermal research programs at national and international levels.

Both institutions are eager to prepare this higher-education programme in geothermal energy and hope to meet many PhD students at Cergy-Pontoise, France.