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Classification of Geothermal Resources by Potential : Volume 3, Issue 1 (24/03/2015)

By Rybach, L.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004009981
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 5
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Classification of Geothermal Resources by Potential : Volume 3, Issue 1 (24/03/2015)  
Author: Rybach, L.
Volume: Vol. 3, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Geothermal, Energy
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Rybach, L. (2015). Classification of Geothermal Resources by Potential : Volume 3, Issue 1 (24/03/2015). Retrieved from

Description: Institute of Geophysics ETHZ, Zurich, Switzerland. When considering and reporting resources, the term geothermal potential is often used without clearly stating what kind of potential is meant. For renewable energy resources it is nowadays common to use different potentials: theoretical, technical, economic, sustainable, developable – decreasing successively in size. In such a sequence, the potentials are progressively realizable and more and more rewarding financially. The theoretical potential describes the physically present energy, the technical potential the fraction of this energy that can be used by currently available technology and the economic potential the time- and location-dependent fraction of the previous category; the sustainable potential constrains the fraction of the economic potential that can be utilized in the long term; the developable potential is the fraction of the economic resource which can be developed under realistic conditions. In converting theoretical to technical potential, the recovery factor (the ratio extractable heat/heat present at depth) is of key importance. An example (global geothermal resources) is given, with numerical values of the various potentials. The proposed classification could and should be used as a kind of general template for future geothermal energy resources reporting.

Classification of geothermal resources by potential

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