872323 Geothermal energy – Geological fundamentals and applications

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Voit, Klaus , Straka, Wolfgang
Offered in
Sommersemester 2023
Languages of instruction


The lecture „Geothermal Energy – Geological Fundamentals and Applications“ conveys the fundamental knowledge necessary to understand Geothermics and current options of geothermal energy utilization. The lecture is held in English.
In addition to presenting general academic knowledge of Geothermics, special emphasis is put on geothermal regimes of the earth, potential and technically accessible geothermal resources, and current options of exploration and utilization. This is presented in regard to “shallow” geothermal systems (down to approx. 300 m below ground), as well as deep geothermal systems (down to several kilometres of depth). Generally, the point of view is that of the geosciences, but select topics of exploration, reservoir and heat engineering are included.
One special teaching goal is an understanding of the entire energy flow as pertaining to various utilization scenarios. Finally, potential environmental impacts, as well as the importance of geothermal energy for the Energy Turnaround, in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal SDG 7, are adressed.
As for the practical exercises, students are presented with case studies, involving, on the one hand, the qualitative assessment of geothermal potential, including potential problems, on the other hand, uncomplicated quantitative methods of estimating reservoir productivity, energy flow, and use efficiency, under various given conditions.

Previous knowledge expected

Basics in geology, rock mechanics and IT

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Knowledge acquisition in the following fields:
•Basics of Geothermics and geothermal energy with focus on geological aspects
•Internal structure of the earth´s crust and thermal regimes
•Geothermal energy sources and heat/energy transport
•Determination of thermal parameters
•Status of the geothermal energy usage in Austria
•Energy utilization of shallow geothermal energy systems including system engineering aspects
•Energy utilization of deep geothermal energy systems, including exploration, drilling technique and exploitation
•Hydraulic basics, rock mechanics
•Usage of geothermal energy of tunnel systems
•Hydrothermal Usage of Geothermics
•Potential environmental impacts
•Importance regarding energy transition
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.