Announcing the Top 5 Most Innovative Geothermal Projects in 2024


  • PUBLISHED: January 26, 2024

EGEC is thrilled to announce the five endorsed nominations for the Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award 2024. The winner will be announced at GeoTHERM expo & congress, taking place between 29 February and 1 March 2024 in Offenburg, Germany.

The distinguished finalists, listed in alphabetical order by company, are:

Canopus Drilling Solutions Geothermal BV (Netherlands), with the project Field pilot of the Directional Steel Shot Drilling technology at VersuchsStollen Hagerbach, CH.

The novel hybrid directional steel shot drilling (DSSD) technology developed by Canopus drills up to three times faster than pure PDC drilling while steering through any rock type and at any depth. Firstly, the impact on the rate of penetration was tested at the full-scale drill test facility at TNO RCSG in NL. Secondly, a field pilot was done at VersuchsStollen Hagerbach (VSH, CH) in June-July 2023. That pilot demonstrated the steering with DSSD by drilling two shallow horizontals of 125 m in length each.

The project was done as part of the Deploy the Heat project (Joint Call Geothermica SES 2021).

Deutsche Erdwärme GmbH (Germany), with the project Geothermal Well GN-Th-1 (Geothermal Project Graben-Neudorf).

The geothermal project of Deutsche Erdwärme GmbH in Graben-Neudorf, in SW-Germany (Baden Württemberg) has demonstrated for the first time in the Upper Rhine Graben the innovative application of silicate drilling fluid systems in combination with an offshore mud cooler technology to successfully cope with very hot subsurface temperatures in challenging reactive geological formations enabling the successful exploration of fractured reservoirs in a temperature environment of up to 205°C.

Halliburton (Netherlands), with the project GeoESP Intake: Geothermal Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) Intake.

The GeoESP Intake leverages technologies from the oil and gas and medical industries to reduce power consumption in some cases by over 30% for Geothermal Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) in high-flow geothermal applications (> 92 lt/s). The GeoESP Intake design for a variety of applications has remained practically unchanged for decades till 2023. GeoIntake improves geothermal applications by:

  • Reducing power consumption in some cases by over 30% in high-flow applications (>50KBPD, 92 liters/second)
  • Managing open-hole completions with solid production
  • Reducing scale formation
  • Mitigating causing erosion at the ESP inlet setting depth

HydroVolve UK Ltd (United Kingdom), with the project The GeoVolve HYPERDRIVE

For the past ten years, HydroVolve has been researching and developing a downhole engine capable of operating continuously and reliably in the harshest of downhole environments. This has resulted in the development of the GeoVolve HYPERDRIVE, a high-performance, high-integrity percussive drilling system. In its first trial well deployments in 2023, the Hyperdrive has been proven to reduce rig time costs by increasing the rate of penetration while also reducing costs associated with flat time tripping to replace dull bits and reduced bit cost due to fewer bit deployments. This technology breaks down drilling performance limitations while overcoming the technical challenges associated with drilling deep, hard rock formations.

Vulcan Energie Ressourcen GmbH (Germany), with the project Lithium Extraction Optimization Plant (LEOP) to produce green lithium in Europe.

The Upper Rhine Graben deep reservoirs contain lithium. The brine produced is cooled to use the energy for the extraction process and to supply energy to customers. The cooled brine is filtered through an adsorption process, a physical method of Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE). When filled, the adsorbent is rinsed with clean water. The eluate then contains lithium chloride (LiCl) and a few impurities. The eluate is purified and condensed. After these steps, 40% LiCl is contained in 60% of water.  This pre-product is then trucked to Frankfurt-Höchst chemical park to refine the LiCl to Lithiumhydroxide, a product used in batteries. The LEOP is a pre-commercial stage plant to train personnel and optimise the process.

“I am immensely inspired by the calibre of innovation demonstrated by the five finalists for the Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award 2024. Their dedication to researching innovative practices in geothermal is truly commendable. Each project reflects a commitment to excellence and a vision to develop geothermal technology even further. Every year, we are honoured to receive so many good applications”. Said Philippe Dumas, EGEC Secretary-General.

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About the Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award

The Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award is an initiative developed by EGEC, the European Geothermal Energy Council, in collaboration with Messe Offenburg, organiser of the GeoTHERM congress.

This award is given to companies which have made an outstanding contribution towards the field of geothermal energy in the form of innovative products, scientific research or project initiatives. Endorsed nominations and the award winner are recognised for their outstanding work and impact on a growing and dynamic industry. The award recognises originality, innovation, reliability, reduction of emissions and improvements in energy output, an opportunity for industry peers to acknowledge excellence, and for the most exciting ideas to be widely publicised. Applications are assessed on grounds of originality, innovation, reliability, reduction of emissions, and improvements in energy output.

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