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Subsurface potential for the energy transition

Making better use of subsurface potential in tomorrow’s energy mix

Introduction d'entête
The subsurface, with its resources and properties, has a significant role to play in the energy transition. Geothermal energy and underground storage of energy or CO2 can be integrated into regional energy systems as carbon-free solutions for the future. These are key topics for research and innovation in which BRGM plays a leading role.
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Surface plant at the Hontomin pilot site for carbon dioxide storage. © CIUDEN

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Geosciences and subsurface technologies can make key contributions not only to the energy transition, which demands less centralised, more diversified and renewable sources of carbon-free energy, but also to combating global heating. Geothermal and underground storage facilities are designed to contribute to the future energy mix, as a complement to other forms of renewable energy.

BRGM, thanks to its scientific competences, technical resources and regional network, studies the potential of underground environments. Their properties allow for various applications which are developed by first assessing their environmental impacts, starting with the use of energy from shallow or deep geothermal sources to produce heat. Underground spaces can also be used to store massive amounts of heat and energy carriers (hydrogen, compressed air, methane, etc.), as well as radioactive waste.

Research on the capture and underground storage of CO2 in addition to carbon-free energy sources, has finally opened up a promising solution for “downstream” reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In all these fields, BRGM aims to implement medium- or long-term economic solutions, on specific sites or on a regional scale, that guarantee sustainable use of underground spaces.

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deep geothermal installations in France, that produce 1.8 TWh of heat and 102 GWh of electricity per year.