Innovation for De-Risking Enhanced Geothermal Energy Projects

DEEP brings together a distinguished and interdisciplinary team of scientists and practitioners from around the world committed to providing such answers. We argue that innovations in geothermal risk governance are urgently needed and possible, based on recent advances in seismic monitoring technologies, modeling capabilities and process understanding. DEEP executes an ambitious work program that leverages on national efforts, bringing ongoing and planned, but currently fragmented, initiatives together into a coherent international effort towards the ultimate goal of de-risking future geothermal projects worldwide. 

Seismic risk reduction and reservoir efficiency are in the case of EGS reservoirs coupled problems: Balancing risk and economic output is a key requirement and DEEP has a strong focus on optimization of monitoring and risk assessment procedures in order to reduce commercial costs to future projects. 

The five specific objectives of DEEP are:

  1. Innovation in sensor and processing technologies to deliver step-changes in monitoring and imaging capabilities.
  2. De-risking: DEEP develops and tests robust real-time modelling and risk-mitigation strategies, based on machine-learning, statistical and physics-based forecasting models. These next-generation adaptive and data-driven risk mitigation tools have shown the potential to forecast seismicity during EGS reservoir evolution much more precisely than current models.
  3. Knowledge transfer: We will enable and exploit knowledge transfer from other scales and other plays to deep geothermal energy, such as Underground Labs (e.g., Bedretto, EGS Collab), DEEP will transfer this rich knowledge, the technologies and physical understanding (TRL 1-4) to full scale deep geothermal energy applications (TRL 5-7).
  4. Demonstration: We will demonstrate in full-scale and real-time applications the potential and limitations of these new technologies and risk mitigation strategies. DEEP will demonstrate technologies at the FORGE geothermal site and underground field laboratory in Utah as well as in other demonstration sites in Germany and France.
  5. Good Practise: DEEP will define the next generation of good-practice guidelines and protocols, based on the lessons learned and harmonized internationally, and provide for the first time an open-source toolbox for EGS risk assessment and risk management.
Project leader: Stefan Wiemer


Partner name Country
ETH Zurich and the Swiss Seismological Service (ETH) Switzerland
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) USA
EOST (University of Strasbourg/CNRS) France
Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy (IEG) Germany
RWE Power AG (RWE) Germany
Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) Ireland
University of Geneva, Renewable Energy Systems group Switzerland
Geo Energie Suisse (GES) Switzerland
Delft University of Technology Netherlands
Dutch Association Geothermal Operators Netherlands

Project lead Stefan Wiemer