Cooperation in Geothermal energy research Europe-Mexico for development of hot enhanced (hot-EGS) and super-hot geothermal (SGHS) systems

GEMex is a Horizon 2020-project between two large consortia of Mexican and European research organizations comprising 8 and 24 members, respectively. It based on the assumption that the development of hot geothermal resources in Engineered Geothermal systems (EGS) and Super-Hot Geothermal Systems (SHGS) carries an enormous potential to expand the known geothermal resource base and to multiply its energy output. Thus the overall objective of GEMex is to show a way how to better understand, explore and develop (a) EGS in a hot and poorly known geological environment and (b) super-hot resources that cannot be exploited by standard technologies.

The objectives for GEMex follow from the barriers and challenges identified for hot-EGS and SHGS resources. These include:

  • speeding up the geothermal development in Mexico and beyond, by leveraging the knowledge of European and Mexican researchers and industry;
  • reducing pre-drill mining risk by in depth understanding of the geological context of the resource, in order to improve prediction of the occurrence of geothermal resources and their quality;
  • improving geophysical imaging and detection of deep reservoir structures by novel approaches The methods are dedicated to EGS and SHGS, and targeted to improved imaging resolution ;
  • improving predictive models for reservoir characterization and simulation;
  • providing conceptual models for sustainable site development.

Our task comprises, on the one hand, laboratory testing of rock samples for thermal and hydraulic properties and, on the other hand, numerical high-performance predictive (forward) simulations of heat and single- and two-phase fluid flow and inverse parameter estimation comprising uncertainty analysis of the predicted variables temperature and fluid flow rate. Additionally, large scale laboratory hydraulic fracking experiments will be performed at the companion geotechnical RWTH institute GiB which will provide ground-truth for numerical simulations of hydraulic reservoir stimulation performed by other consortium members.

This project is funded from 01.10.2016 until 30.09.2019 by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program under grant agreement number 727550 — GEMex.