Actively seeking viable “clean/green” energy sources is essential for human to maintain sustainable development. Geothermal energy provides an important alternative to fossil fuels and gas in our life. However, most geothermal resources are deep-seated and are either deficient in fluid or permeability, or both. The deep-seated, dry, and tight geothermal reservoirs need to be hydraulically fractured for permeability improvement, thereby promoting fluid circulation and the harvest of heat energy for electricity production. This is often referred to as enhanced or engineered geothermal systems (EGS). Understanding the mechanisms that underpin the link between hydraulic fracture geometry and fluid injection scheme under heterogeneous geothermal reservoir conditions is essential in efforts to reduce the fluid-injection-induced seismicity during EGS creation and production. Within COFFEE, I will combine a multi-scale (laboratory centimetre scale, field decameter scale, and reservoir kilometre scale) approach to, for the first time, look at how the 3D hydraulic fractures propagate under geothermal reservoir conditions. My expertise with rock mechanics and discrete element method modelling and the vast knowledge on geothermal energy and advanced laboratory and field facilities at the host organisation will definitely create the optimal environment to deliver the objectives of COFFEE and promote the transfer of knowledge between all participants. The fellowship will be highly beneficial to establish myself as an independent researcher and junior professor at a leading European university. With this innovative multi-scale framework, I will improve the understanding of 3D hydraulic fracture growth in heterogeneous geothermal reservoirs. This understanding will provide insights on how to reduce fluid-injection-induced seismicity. The outcome of COFFEE can be used as a benchmark for geoscientists and policymakers in further exploring and optimising enhanced geothermal systems.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme