Leading European universities unite to battle climate change

Researchers from four leading European technical universities, all members of IDEA League, are looking for new solutions against climate change in the EASYGO project.
Geothermal energy is becoming increasingly important: geothermal power plant in Indonesia. (Image: TU Delft)

As geothermal energy will play a key role in the fight against climate change, engineers with geothermal expertise are very much in demand. In spring 2020, Dr. Maren Brehme of TU Delft acquired 3.4 million euros in EU funding on behalf of the IDEA League to implement the EASYGO project. This project, which starts in November 2020, will enable 13 doctoral students from the four partner universities - TU Delft, ETH Zurich, RWTH Aachen and Politecnico di Milano - to investigate research questions throughout the entire chain of geothermal energy production. "To master the energy transition, we need bundled European know-how from our top technical universities. This project is an important step in this direction", said Sarah Springman, Rector of ETH Zurich and President of the IDEA League.

Combined strength for innovation

Extensive research infrastructure will be made available to the 13 doctoral students. The consortium is able to facilitate innovative, top-level research and the researchers will have access to all facilities at the participating universities, including the DAPwell on the TU Delft campus, the research boreholes of RWTH Aachen University in Weisweiler, the Turboden power plants in Germany, the Grimsel Test Site and the underground laboratories at Mont Terri, Bedretto and Bochum, which have been used by ETH Zurich and RWTH Aachen University, among others. "In the IDEA League, we are convinced that the combined strength of our strategic alliance - with five leading science and technology universities - provides unique opportunities for connection, inspiration and innovation in Europe," says Dr. Leslie Zachariah-Wolff, Secretary-General of the IDEA League.

Interdisciplinary training network

The EASYGO project will focus on all aspects of geothermal energy production, from engineering design, extraction and injection to power plant operation. Questions such as What is needed for the safe use of geothermal systems? and How can we operate geothermal plants efficiently? will be addressed from different perspectives. The research process will integrate geology, geophysics, geochemistry, advanced modelling and process engineering. A central goal of EASYGO as an Innovative Training Network (ITN) involves training specialists in the field of geothermal energy. Dr. Maren Brehme, Assistant Professor for Geothermal Energy at TU Delft, heads EASYGO and is confident about the project: "I expect that the training network will bring us significantly closer to a new geothermal training standard. The project is a concrete example of how we are working together to achieve excellence and will contribute to a more sustainable future for us all."

About the IDEA League

The IDEA League is a strategic alliance between five leading European universities of technology: TU Delft, ETH Zurich, RWTH Aachen, Politecnico di Milano and Chalmers University of Technology. The alliance was created to find solutions to global challenges together by combining the high-​quality research facilities and the knowledge, experience and resources of each individual university.