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Research and Development of Supercritical Geothermal Resources

Project overview

Project period: FY2018 to FY2020, FY2019 budget: JPY 360 million

The Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook—which was formulated in response to the Strategic Energy Plan released by the Cabinet in FY2014—indicates that geothermal power expected to be introduced by 2030 totals up to 1.55 million kW of installed capacity and 11.3 billion kWh of power generated.

In addition, the Innovative Strategy for Energy and the Environment, which was formulated by the Cabinet Office in FY2016, identifies supercritical geothermal power generation technology as a concrete example of next-generation power generation technology—positioned as a promising innovative technology expected to have a major potential impact on the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions—and includes a roadmap aimed at the popularization of such technology by around 2050.

Based on the Supercritical Geothermal Power Generation Feasibility Study (FY 2017), which was the first step undertaken under the above roadmap, the goal of this project is to continue researching issues identified in the study and develop technologies for the drilling of exploration wells.

  • (1) Evaluate supercritical geothermal resources and design detailed specifications for exploration wells
  • (2) Develop materials for exploration wells (e.g., casing and cement materials)
  • (3) Develop modeling technology methods for supercritical geothermal reservoirs
  • Existing shallow geothermal system Supercritical geothermal water bearing zone Impermeable zone Upper surface of granitic basement Permeable zone Low-permeability zone Around 3 to 5 km Supercritical rock body Supercritical rock body Crystalline schist Granitic basement Batholith Several to 20 km Middle crust Deep magma reservoir
    Overview of result applications
  • Preliminary study 〔1〕Exploration Preliminary study 〔2〕Demonstration test Popularization 〔1〕 Feasibility study(FY2017 to FY2019) 〔2〕 Detailed preliminary study(FY2018 to FY2020) 〔1〕 Verification of exploration results 〔2〕 Preliminary study leading to demonstration test
    Roadmap to popularization

Basic information

Technical field
  • Heat utilization
Project code P18008
Department in charge
  • New Energy Technology Department (TEL: 044-520-5183)