Large scale seismic campaigns have been conducted by German company DMT Group in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.
German engineering and consulting company DMT GmbH und Co.KG (DMT Group) is exploring the geothermal potential at two locations in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia: in Hagen and in Münsterland, as highlighted in an article in publication Solarserver.
The North Rhine-Westphalia Geological Service is also in charge of a project to explore the geothermal potential in north-western Europe. The DMT Group is also involved in this.
Münsterland: New findings from old data
In Münsterland, DMT won the tender for a project by the Geological Service NRW. The aim is to take stock of the geothermal potential in the country. For this, the DMT specialists use: Inside also on data from already carried out boreholes and seismic measurements. They analyze the old data using new methods. “Today, with our modern methods, we can explore in a much more targeted manner and model a much more precise image of the subsurface than before,” explains graduate geologist and project manager Silke Bißmann. DMT has developed its own models to represent the subsurface in three dimensions and to simulate the flow of heat. The newly determined data collected from the coal mining archives are intended to broaden our understanding of the geology in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Hagen: paper mill with geothermal energy
For three days in February 2021, the DMT Group used vibrotrucks to investigate the potential for geothermal energy around Hagen, Dortmund, Herdecke and Schwerte. The trucks sent sound waves into the ground for this exploration. Hundreds of geophones along the measuring sections recorded the waves reflected from the subsurface. With the data collected in this way, DMT intends, among other things, to explore the so-called Devonian mass limestone at a depth of 4,000 meters. They are considered to be one of the most important reservoirs for geothermal energy in North Rhine-Westphalia.
With the geothermal energy expected there, the paper mill company Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper intends to cover large parts of its process steam requirements of around 500,000 megawatt hours annually. The measurements at Hagen are part of the “Geothermal Paper Drying” research project and the “Cable Zero” vision.
Transparent communication with citizens is important for all geothermal projects, explains Bissmann. Because like all technologies, geothermal energy not only has advantages but also risks. Noticeable tremors in the earth are possible. Educating the population therefore plays a key role.
EU project DGE Rollout explores geothermal potential in north-western Europe
The DMT Group is also one of the partners in the EU project “Deep Geothermal Energy Rollout in North-West Europe (DGE Rollout)”. Under the leadership of the Geological Service NRW, 20 actors from six countries have set themselves the goal of exploring the geological potential for deep geothermal energy in northwestern Europe and making it usable by the end of 2022. Technical and economic criteria are just as important as public acceptance. This also includes the accompanying research project. The aim is to gain information about geothermal potential from seismic measurements and deep boreholes for hard coal mining that are up to 50 years old. DMT is involved in the evaluation of this data.
“Geothermal energy can be used as a base load and is therefore a key element of the energy transition. It is not dependent on the sun or wind and the associated daily and seasonal fluctuations, ”explains Bissmann. In addition, geothermal systems require little space and fit in well with the landscape or cityscape. Deep geothermal energy is slowly gaining momentum in Europe. There are only many projects at individual hotspots, e.g. in the Munich area. The generation of heat from geothermal energy is already economically competitive today if the conditions are good. However, electricity generation costs have practically not fallen in the last 20 years.