Why do we need GeoLaB?

Three theses

The crystalline bedrock represents the world's largest geothermal resource. On the one hand, its environmentally sound development for geothermal exploitation and sustainable operation is one of the greatest challenges in geotechnology research; on the other hand, the solution of these challenges offers a huge application potential due to the location-independence of this resource.

  1. Sustainable geothermal use of the crystalline basement for the energy transition requires scientific investigations in an underground laboratory.
    • GeoLaB allows in situ experiments under reservoir-like conditions and direct observation of the complex processes in space and time.
    • GeoLaB enables the necessary basic research (e.g., on constitutive laws, flow behavior in fracture networks under high flow rates, fracture behavior) and applied research (e.g., on borehole integrity).
  2. Environmentally sound technology development can ensure sustainable utilization strategies and thus a significant contribution to security of supply and heat transition.
    • GeoLaB lays the foundation for the development of environmentally sound strategies for the safe use of geothermal energy, such as a minimization of seismic risks, and thus also for a controlled and efficient management of the crystalline bedrock.
    • GeoLaB thus creates the scientific basis for the social acceptability of the technology.
  3. As a holistic research platform, GeoLaB offers cutting-edge research beyond geothermal energy and creates synergies for the development of geotechnologies that are economically relevant today.
    • GeoLaB builds urgently needed knowledge for the development of large underground infrastructures using innovative methods (including virtual reality).
    • GeoLaB enables collaboration between universities, federal institutions and industry.
    • GeoLaB provides a platform for dialogue and participation of citizens. GeoLaB makes geosciences tangible.