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[en] In planning, designing and evaluating a geothermal energy project, a number of technical, economic, social and environmental parameters should be considered. The use of computational methods provides a rigorous analysis improving the decision-making process. This article demonstrates the application of decision-making methods developed in operational research for the optimum exploitation of geothermal resources. Two characteristic problems are considered: (1) the economic evaluation of a geothermal energy project under uncertain conditions using a stochastic analysis approach and (2) the evaluation of alternative exploitation schemes for optimum development of a low enthalpy geothermal field using a multicriteria decision-making procedure. (Author)
[en] This paper presents the results of an assessment of public views on eventual geothermal energy development in Sicily. The research was carried out under a much wider research project, VIGOR, with the aim to explore the feasibility of geothermal energy utilization in southern Italy. This study has two primary objectives: (1) to explore the views and opinions of local communities regarding the potential of geothermal energy applications; (2) to contribute to the growing literature on public engagement with energy issues. In order to explore public views towards geothermal technologies, we conducted a case study using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Although Italy has enormous geological potential for geothermal energy production, levels of knowledge of this energy source amongst the public are low. The results indicate that the issue is shrouded in uncertainty and that the Sicilian public expresses a diffused lack of trust in decision-making processes. Taken together, these factors are likely to strongly impact eventual further developments in this sector. The results clearly show the need for further societal dialogue supported by a sound communication action strategy as the first stage in a public participation
[en] This study deals with an exergetic performance evaluation of a geothermally heated building. This building used in the analysis has a volume of 1147.03 m3 and a net floor area of 95.59 m2, while indoor and exterior air temperatures are 20 and 0 deg. C, respectively. The geothermal heating system used for the heat production was constructed in the Ozkilcik heating center, Izmir, Turkey. Thermal water has a pressure of 6.8 bar, a temperature of 122 deg. C and a mass flow rate of 54.73 kg/s, while it is reinjected at 3.2 bar and 72 deg. C. The system investigated feeds three regions. Among these, the Ozkanlar region has supply/return pressure and temperature values of 4.6/3 bar and 80/60 deg. C, respectively. Energy and exergy flows are studied to quantify and illustrate exergy destructions in the overall system. Total exergy input rate to the system is found to be 9.92 kW and the largest exergy destruction rate occurs in the primary energy transformation at 3.85 kW
[en] This paper reports on a case study on the citizens’ engagement with developments towards the harnessing of geothermal energy in central Italy. The research has been conducted within the framework of a larger project on the feasibility of further geothermal developments in Italy, funded by the Italian government. The aims of the case study research were first to explore the role of public and stakeholder engagement in the processes of innovation in the geothermal energy sector. Second, to design, implement and consolidate a methodological framework for comparative analysis of case studies on citizens’ engagement, thus bringing a social scientific perspective into geothermal energy research. The results show general support for renewable energy but knowledge and understanding of the potential of geothermal is remarkably low. Lack of trust in politics and unsure public communication emerged as prominent themes where the common good and community developments are sharply contrasted with corporate and private interests. As geothermal energy is included and encouraged under the European Strategic Energy Plan and in the Paris agreement on halting climate change, the results can make significant input into future policy making, by providing concrete guidelines on citizens’ engagement in processes of culturally sustainable innovation. - Highlights: • Original research, case study on citizens’ engagement with geothermal energy. • Considerable public uncertainty over geothermal energy. • Information is a key issue for all stakeholder and citizens cooperation in the energy sector. • Everyday notions of “the common good” strongly shape community discussions about energy. • Geothermal energy developments need to take the views of communities into account.
[en] Development and diffusion of new renewable energy technologies play a central role in mitigating climate change. In this context, small-scale deep geothermal power has seen growing interest in recent years as an environmentally friendly, non-intermittent energy source with large technical potential. Following the first successful demonstration projects, the German geothermal industry is currently experiencing an internationally unparalleled growth. In this study we explore the factors driving this development, and the role geothermal power production could play in the future of the German electricity market. For this, we apply the scenario technique, based on literature analysis and interviews with companies operating actively in the field. Our findings highlight the importance of political support and framework conditions in the electricity market, with the best prospects in a decentralised energy system based on renewable energy sources, where high investment costs and the risk of discovery failure are balanced by the benefits of low-carbon base load power. (author)
[en] Plotting the performance of a technology against the money or effort invested in it most often yields an S-shaped curve: slow initial improvement, then accelerated improvement, then diminishing improvement. These S-curves can be used to gain insight into the relative payoff of investment in competing technologies, as well as providing some insight into when and why some technologies overtake others in the race for dominance. Analyzing renewable energies from such a technology S-curve perspective reveals some surprising and important implications for both government and industry. Using data on government R and D investment and technological improvement (in the form of cost reductions), we show that both wind energy and geothermal energy are poised to become more economical than fossil fuels within a relatively short time frame. The evidence further suggests that R and D for wind and geothermal technologies has been under-funded by national governments relative to funding for solar technologies, and government funding of fossil fuel technologies might be excessive given the diminishing performance of those technologies.
[en] With U.S. geothermal power production expected to more than triple by 2040, and the majority of this growth expected to occur in arid and water-constrained areas, it is imperative that decision-makers understand the potential long-term limitations to and tradeoffs of geothermal development due to water availability. To this end, water consumption data, including documentation triggered by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, production and injection data, and water permit data, were collected from state and federal environmental policy sources in an effort to determine water consumption across the lifecycle of geothermal power plants. Values extracted from these sources were analyzed to estimate water usage during well drilling; to identify sourcing of water for well drilling, well stimulation, and plant operations; and to estimate operational water usage at the plant level. Nevada data were also compared on a facility-by-facility basis with other publicly available water consumption data, to create a complete picture of water usage and consumption at these facilities. This analysis represents a unique method of capturing project-level water data for geothermal projects; however, a lack of statutory and legal requirements for such data and data quality result in significant data gaps, which are also explored. -- Highlights: •Water consumption data for various stages of geothermal development is analyzed. •Aboveground operational water consumption ranged from 1.2 to 18.4 m"3/MWh. •Geothermal definitions vary and the geothermal permitting process is circuitous. •Lack of publicly available water consumption data for geothermal needs to be addressed
[en] This paper presents the results of a case study of applying a systematic and proven process of technology portfolio planning with the use of scenario analysis to renewable energy developments in Taiwan. The planning process starts with decision values of technology development based on a survey of society leaders. It then generates, based on expert opinions and literature search, a set of major technology alternatives, which in this study include: wind energy, photovoltaic, bio-energy, solar thermal power, ocean energy, and geothermal energy. Through a committee of technical experts with diversified professional backgrounds, the process in this study next constructs three scenarios ('Season in the Sun', 'More Desire than Energy', and 'Castle in the Air') to encompass future uncertainties in the relationships between the technology alternatives and the decision values. Finally, through a second committee of professionals, the process assesses the importance and risks of these alternative technologies and develops a general strategic plan for the renewable energy technology portfolio that is responsive and robust for the future scenarios. The most important contributions of this paper are the clear description of the systematic process of technology portfolio planning and scenario analysis, the detailed demonstration of their application through a case study on the renewable energy development in Taiwan, and the valuable results and insights gained from the application.
[en] Highlights: • Examination of factors affecting geothermal energy and GSHP technology awareness. • Examination of factors influencing intention adoption of residential GSHP systems. • Main information sources and installation barriers of GSHPs are identified. • Significant effect of socioeconomic, residence and heating system characteristics. • GSHP promotion requires suitable financial, regulatory and awareness improvements. - Abstract: Residential heating, cooling and Domestic Hot Water (DHW) production are responsible for a significant part of the residential energy consumption in Greece, which is currently based on the consumption of fossil fuels. A solution for the reduction of fossil fuel use -and all the negative effects that their use implies- is the application of renewable energy technologies, among which Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) systems are included. The present study examined awareness and adoption intention issues concerning this technology in Greece, through the conduction of a questionnaire survey. Specifically, it investigated public's knowledge on issues involving this technology, intention of installing it in households, main information sources and installation barriers. Socioeconomic and residence characteristics, as well as consumers’ preferences and attitudes affecting the knowledge and adoption issues were examined. Factors affecting the subjects under investigation are gender, age, education level, environmentally friendly behavior and awareness, as well as having an occupation, studies or interests related to environment, technology or engineering. Additionally, the intention of installing a GSHP system is affected by specific household characteristics, infrastructure and consumers’ preferences on characteristics of heating systems. In order to promote GSHPs, suitable financial incentives, regulatory improvements and awareness activities are required.
[en] Issues of social acceptance, such as lack of awareness and negative community perceptions and reactions, can affect low emission energy technology development, despite general support observed for reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. Negative community reactions and lack of understanding have affected geothermal developments, as demonstrated by the fearful community reactions and negative media experienced in response to seismic disturbances caused by 'hot rock' geothermal energy generation in Switzerland and Germany. Focusing on geothermal energy, this paper presents the results of using a participatory action research methodology to engage diverse groups within the Australian public. A key finding is that the majority of the Australian public report limited the knowledge or understanding of geothermal technology and have various concerns including water usage and seismic activity instigated by geothermal drilling. However, geothermal energy receives general support due to a common trend to champion renewable energy sources in preference to traditional forms of energy generation and controversial technologies. This paper also demonstrates the effectiveness of using an engagement process to explore public understanding of energy technologies in the context of climate change, and suggests a way forward for governments and industry to allocate resources for greatest impact when communicating about geothermal technology. - Highlights: → Majority of Australians have limited knowledge or understanding of geothermal technology. → Various concerns, including water usage and seismic activity instigated by drilling, were raised. → Geothermal energy has general support due to a common trend to champion renewable energy sources. → Methodology shows the effectiveness of an engagement process to explore public understanding. → Participants expressed intention to change behaviours, which can be a catalyst for change.