IMAGE – Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration

Krafla, Iceland © A´sgeir Eggertsson


IMAGE (Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration) is a European project involving 20 partners from 9 different countries. Goal of the project is to develop an integrated geothermal exploration approach based on state-of-the-art scientific methods. The project is co-funded for four years by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and started on the 1st of November 2013.

November 2013, the four year project IMAGE (Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration) has been launched, harnessing research power of key research institutes in Europe and industrial players to develop novel exploration techniques for geothermal power.

The objective is to develop new methods to scrutinize and appraise geothermal systems in such a way that exploration wells can be sited with greater accuracy than before, thereby maximizing the success rate and reducing the cost of drilling associated with geothermal projects. In addition, such precision wells would reduce any potential environmental impact.

New research methods will be tested in well-known geothermal systems, both in continental sedimentary systems in Europe and in high-temperature systems related to volcanism where one might expect supercritical fluids, as in magmatic areas, such as in Iceland and Italy.

The IMAGE consortium comprises eleven leading European geothermal research institutes and eight geothermal industry partners, who will perform testing and validation of the new methods at existing geothermal sites owned by the industry partners, both in high temperature magmatic, including supercritical, and in basement/deep sedimentary systems. Application of the methods as part of exploration in newly developed fields will provide direct transfer from the research to the demonstration stage The 19 participants are from the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, Italy, France, Switzerland, Norway, the Czech Republic and Spain. The European Union provided € 10 million to the project.


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