Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesGeothermal energy

Geothermal technology is used to convert underground heat into energy. This energy can be used for two purposes:

  • electricity generation:
    • the power required is such that its potential remains limited to only a few geographic zones in France (Upper Rhine Plain, Massif Central and French Overseas Departments and Territories),
    • however, development perspectives outside France are substantial (Iceland and Italy for example),
    • the cost of the electricity produced is comparable to that produced from other renewable energies,
  • the supply of the heating network:
    • this application is already a reality in France, particularly in the Paris basin,
    • its development potential remains significant.

At present, the geothermal sector is still dependent on Government support. Cogeneration and the production of related products — such as lithium contained in geothermal waters, for example — will have to be integrated in the future to increase the profitability of operations and thus reduce the cost of the energy produced.

IFPEN is well placed to support geothermal sector players, thanks to its expertise covering the entire value chain. This knowledge and expertise have been built up over the last ten years or so in the field of underground geosciences, from the observation to the conceptualization, formalization and theorization of problems. Its strengths primarily concern exploration, engineering, exploitation and expert knowledge of energy equipment.

« The global geothermal power market is set to double in the next ten years, with a forecast turnover generated from studies, construction, equipment and services evaluated at between 3 and 4 billion euros per year. France can establish a position in this market alongside international competition, ultimately targeting a market share of between 10 and 15%. (Source: PPE 2018)

Propose concrete, innovative and reproducible solutions to overcome the technical and economic challenges limiting the industrial development of geothermal energy.

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Florence Delprat-Jannaud

  • Program manager: “CO2 capture and storage” and “Underground management for New Technologies”