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Environmental performance of a geothermal power plant using a hydrothermal resource in the Southern German Molasse Basin

Title data

Menberg, Kathrin ; Heberle, Florian ; Bott, Christoph ; Brüggemann, Dieter ; Bayer, Peter:
Environmental performance of a geothermal power plant using a hydrothermal resource in the Southern German Molasse Basin.
In: Renewable Energy. Vol. 167 (April 2021) . - pp. 20-31.
ISSN 1879-0682
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2020.11.028

Abstract in another language

Every technology and anthropogenic activity affects the environment. This even applies to renewable, green energy forms, such as geothermal energy, which are often labelled as being climate neutral. Yet, a second glance reveals that this is not the case, as the construction, operation and decommissioning of geothermal power plants implies a consumption of materials and energy. Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) help to identify and quantify these impacts in order to ensure realistic comparability at different levels. Despite a growing number of surveys, however, either not all influencing parameters are explicitly considered, or the studies are only theoretical and based on generic data. Therefore, this study explores the binary plant of Kirchstockach located in Southern Germany in a comprehensive LCA. Corresponding scenarios identify leakages of used refrigerants and allocations of energy consumption during construction and operation as relevant impact factors. Results show that using refrigerants with low global warming potential ensures minimal effects even in case of larger losses. In addition, resource-saving drilling with electricity instead of diesel can effectively offset energy needs by later electricity production. In contrast, auxiliary energy usage from an electricity grid dominated by fossil sources has highly negative effects on the environmental performance.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Life-cycle assessment; Geothermal energy; Hydrothermal systems; Global warming potential; Binary power plants
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Engineering Thermodynamics and Transport Processes
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Engineering Thermodynamics and Transport Processes > Chair Engineering Thermodynamics and Transport Processes - Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Brüggemann
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Energy Research and Energy Technology
Research Institutions > Research Units > ZET - Zentrum für Energietechnik
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 09:19
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 09:19
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/62212