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Exploring the geothermal potential of North Rhine-Westphalia – insights into the intermediate and deeper subsurface

The rising demand for heating applications in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) based on regional, climate and environmentally friendly energy sources has prompted the federal state government to further evaluate the geothermal potential of NRW. Therefore, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy and the Geological Survey of NRW have initiated two projects: “Geothermal Characterisation of the Lower Rhineland and northern margin of the Rhenish Mountains” and “Geothermal Characterisation of the Greater Münster area”. These projects investigate the intermediate to deep subsurface to foster the use of hydrothermal energy in NRW.

In the initial stage three regions were defined: the Lower Rhineland, the northern margin of the Rhenish Mountains and the central Münsterland. In these project areas, Cretaceous, Dinantian (Lower Carboniferous) and Middle to Upper Devonian carbonate rocks are of particular interest because they occur at depth levels down to several thousands of meters, and are expected to possess good fluid pathways.

The project’s work packages include the digitalisation and harmonisation of existing geodata, complementing our borehole database system, the implementation of geo- and petrophysical measurements, and the acquisition of 2D seismic data in the central Münsterland, and the central and eastern Lower Rhineland. A first key asset in the project was a c. 300 m deep drilling conducted in the Düsseldorf area.

The results of the projects are presented in a geothermal online portal which serves as a driving force for future geothermal project planning and will assist in taking a step towards a climate-friendly heat supply.


Sarah Esteban Lopez1, Kim Roya Nokar1, Martin Sattelberger1, Vladimir Shipilin1, Burcu Tasdemir1, Immanuel Weber1
1Geological Survey of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
GeoMinKöln 2022
North Rhine-Westphalia