DGE-ROLLOUT - Roll-out of Deep Geothermal Energy in NWE

Project Summary


De-risking deep geothermal energy projects by providing an interactive web application with surface and subsurface data

Developing a toolbox for exploration support as well as economic and environmental evaluation support schemes

Improving production processes at the pilot site Balmatt, Belgium

Installing an improved heat pump system and implementing a thermal energy storage at the pilot site TRUDI in Bochum, Germany

Providing deep geothermal energy for district heating at the pilot sites in Balmatt and Bochum

Implementing a process to cascade energy at the pilot sites in Balmatt and Bochum

Adapting thermal energy storage processes for demand and supply balancing


Our Vision

The vision of our project is to foster the expansion of deep geothermal energy as a climate and environmentally friendly energy resource in North-West Europe, and subsequently nurture the region´s economics and the wellbeing of the citizens.

Our Mission

DGE-ROLLOUT facilitates the use of deep geothermal energy as climate-friendly energy resource to reduce CO2 emissions and to protect the environment in North-West Europe.

Our Key Messages

  • DGE-ROLLOUT facilitates the use of natural and stored heat from the deep underground to reduce COemissions
  • DGE-ROLLOUT provides transparency of geothermal energy usage to the public
  • DGE-ROLLOUT supports new technologies for deep geothermal energy exploration and production
  • DGE-ROLLOUT provides information for stakeholders & investors of geothermal energy in North-West Europe
  • DGE-ROLLOUT explores and tests one of the most promising geothermal reservoirs in North-West Europe
  • DGE-ROLLOUT provides exploration and engineering support for deep geothermal energy usage



North-West Europe (NWE) has to reduce CO2 emissions. One major source of CO2 is the production of electricity and heat by burning fossil fuels, which could be vastly replaced by using deep geothermal energy (DGE). However, the exploration of DGE in most NWE regions requires specific expertise and technologies in the complex geological situations (strongly faulted high permeable carbonates and coarse clastic rocks) that lie across the borders between Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

It is the objective of DGE-ROLLOUT to produce energy and reduce COemissions by replacing fossil fuels through the increased usage of DGE in NWE for large-scale infrastructures requiring high-temperature heat supplies to cover their basic energy loads. This will be achieved by mapping and networking (work package T1), by the application of innovative decision and exploration strategies (work package T2), and by testing for production optimization (work package T3).

Work package T1- Mapping and networking:

Obtaining an overview of available data through an interactive web application to identify regional investment hotspots according to investor profiles. A DGE network was established to share experiences and develop new projects.

Work package T2 - Decision and exploration support:

Create the basis for decisions to invest in DGE infrastructure and exploration strategies that are cheaper, risk diminishing and more reliable compared to the current methods and by supporting the investor to better find the right spot to drill.

Work package T3 - Testing for production optimization:

Demonstration of innovative techniques under real-life conditions at two sites to develop and improve further production optimisation (e.g. high-temperature heat pumps) to use DGE more effectively for enterprises in different branches (energy and heat suppliers, industrial and agricultural enterprises) for an immediate CO2 reduction. Development of an implementation plan to convert large, fossil-fuelled power plants to DGE plants.

At two pilot sites (Balmatt, BE; Bochum, DE) production optimisation will be tested by implementing high-temperature heat pumps and new cascading schemes from high (>100°C, big network) to low tempatures (>50°C, single enterprise) and to gain a CO2 reduction of 25 000 t/a. By realising further plants in NWE this will reach up to 160 000 t/a until 2022. It is estimated that 10 years after the project’s end, at least 1 600 000 t/a reduction will have been achieved. In the long term, it is expected to reach up to 7 000 000 t/a.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Geological Survey of NRW 195 De-Greiff-Straße
dge-rollout@gd.nrw.de www.gd.nrw.de
Name Contact Name Email Country
DMT GmbH & Co. KG Boris Dombrowski boris.dombrowski@dmt-group.com Germany
EBN B.V. Timme van Melle timme.melle-van@ebn.nl Netherlands
Flemish Institute for Technological Research Matsen Broothaers matsen.broothaers@vito.be Belgium
Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructure and Geothermal Energy (IEG) Frank Strozyk frank.strozyk@ieg.fraunhofer.de Germany
French geological survey Chrystel Dezayes c.dezayes@brgm.fr France
Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences Estelle Petitclerc epetitclerc@naturalsciences.be Belgium
RWE Power AG Thomas Oswald thomas.oswald@rwe.com Germany
Technische Universität Darmstadt Jeroen van der Vaart jeroen.vaart@tu-darmstadt.de Germany
The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research Holger Cremer holger.cremer@tno.nl Netherlands





SP GeoThermal Engineering GmbH (GeoT)

GeoT is providing the industry point of view to the development of the advanced exploration toolbox and the decision support chart and the standardized decision workflow check-list. In 2022 Geo-T became Vulcan Energy Subsurface Solutions.

SP Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)

Sediment- and isotope geology at the RUB specifically contributes with comprehensive expertise in rock-water interactions and geochemical tracers of subsurface fluid flow, quantification of dissolution-precipitation parameters of authigenic minerals in the subsurface related to the circulation of hydrothermal fluids, and characterization of three-dimensional carbonate bodies in the subsurface and their spatial distribution of porosity and permeability patterns including fracture systems.


Associated  Partners


AP British Geological Survey

British Geological Survey contributes to knowledge exchange on subsurface characterization and DGE resource assessment in deep carbonate formations as well as on scientific monitoring and observation of deep geological environments.

AP Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum (German Mining Museum Bochum)

The Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum was founded in 1930. Over the last 80 years, it has grown into the biggest mining museum in the world comprising around 8,000 m² of exhibition space and a 2.5 km long visitor mine. The research and exhibitions demonstrate the connections between the extraction and processing of georessources, and social and cultural developments. 

AP Deutsche Erdwärme GmbH & co KG

Deutsche Erdwärme GmbH & co KG is a key project developer in the Upper Rhine Graben. The associated partner is providing the point of view of a project developer to the applicability of the decision support chart and the standardized decision workflow check-list 

AP Durham University

Durham University will act as a reviewer of DGE-ROLLOUT. Further Jon Gluyas of Durham University - an expert in the fluid transmissivity, permeability, and porosity of ancient buried rock formations (reservoirs) including that of karst (cave) systems - will support the project with insider views and knowledge of geology and geothermal in the UK and IE.

AP European Geothermal Energy Council

EGEC is an expert in networking and strategic consulting and will contribute their knowledge and experiences to the DGE-Rollout project by attending meetings and supporting with advice by the activities market evaluation and network expansion because it has a large number of high-level contacts in the industry that could help roll out geothermal energy in NWE region. EGEC acts as a reviewer of DGE-ROLLOUT and supports the DGE-Rollout project with insider views and knowledge of the European geothermal energy sector. 

AP Geological Survey Ireland (GSI)

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment of the Geological Survey Ireland interacts with project partners on DGE potential mapping and characterization in deep carbonate rocks, and reservoir characteristics of deep karst, as developed through parallel European and National projects. GSI will support their Irish, transregional, and national networks with outputs and outcomes of DGE-ROLLOUT. 

AP unique Wärme GmbH & Co. KG

Unique is a common public service provider founded by the Stadtwerke Bochum and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Starting in 2018 unique will provide heat and electricity for the southern part of Bochum via combined heat and power generation to replace the existing energy provision and save 26.000 t CO2 emissions per year.

AP University of Lille

The University of Lille occupies a strategic position at the heart of Northern Europe. It boasts an outstanding cultural and scientific heritage that is etched into the Hauts-de-France Region’s history and has established itself as a key player in the region for training, research and innovation, and commitment to social issues. The University of Lille will bring its great knowledge of the geology of the Hauts de France area. 






Work package T1 - Mapping and networking:

















Work package T2 - Decision and exploration support:










Work package T3 - Testing for production optimization:








Work package I - Invest:






Work package LT - Long term:









Scientific publications


Arndt, M.; Fritschle, T.; Thiel, A.; Salamon, M. (2021): The DGE-ROLLOUT project: Deep Geothermal Energy potential of Carboniferous carbonate rocks in North-West Europe ‒ History, characterisation, modelling and exploration; ZDGG 172(3).

Arndt, M. (2021): 3D modelling of the Lower Carboniferous (Dinantian) as an indicator for the deep geothermal potential in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW, Germany); ZDGG 172(3).

Bossennec, C.; Frey, M.; Seib, L.; Bär, K.; Sass, I. (2021): Multiscale Characterisation of Fracture Patterns of a Crystalline Reservoir Analogue; Geosciences 11(9), 371.

Bossennec, C.; Seib, L.; Frey, M.; van der Vaart, J.; Sass, I. (2022): Structural Architecture and Permeability Patterns of Crystalline Reservoir Rocks in the Northern Upper Rhine Graben: Insights from Surface Analogues of the Odenwald; Energies 15(4), 1310.

Broothaers, M.; Lagrou, D.; Laenen, B.; Harcouët-Menou, V.; Vos, D. (2021): Deep geothermal energy in the Lower Carboniferous carbonates of the Campine Basin, northern Belgium: An overview from the 1950’s to 2020ZDGG 172(3).

Formhals, J.; Feike, F.; Hemmatabady, H.; Welsch, B.; Sass, I. (2021): Strategies for a transition towards a solar district heating grid with integrated seasonal geothermal energy storage; Energy, 228.

Formhals, J.; Hemmatabady, H.; Welsch, B.; Schulte, D. O.; Sass, I. (2020): A Modelica Toolbox for the Simulation of Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Systems; Energies 13(9), 2327.

Frey, M.; Bär, K.; Stober, I.; Reinecker, J.; van der Vaart, J.; Sass, I. (2022): Assessment of deep geothermal research and development in the Upper Rhine Graben; Geothermal Energy 10(18).

Frey, M.; Bossennec, C.; Sass, I. (2023): Mapping Buried Fault Zones in a Granitic Pluton Using Aeromagnetic Data; Pure and Applied Geophysics 180.

Frey, M.; Bossennec, C.; Seib, L.; Bär, K.; Schill, E.; Sass, I. (2022): Interdisciplinary fracture network characterization in the crystalline basement: a case study from the Southern Odenwald, SW Germany; Solid Earth 13(6).

Frey, M.; van der Vaart, J.; Bär, K.; Bossennec, C.; Calcagno, P.; Chrystel, D.; Sass, I. (2022): Techno-Economic Assessment of Geothermal Resources in the Variscan Basement of the Northern Upper Rhine Graben; Natural Resources Research 32.

Frey, M.; Weinert, S.; Bär, K.; van der Vaart, J.; Dezayes, C.; Calcagno, P.; Sass, I. (2021): Integrated 3D geological modelling of the northern Upper Rhine Graben by joint inversion of gravimetry and magnetic data; Tectonophysics, 813.

Fritschle, T.; Petitclerc, E.; van Melle, T.; Broothaers, M.; Passamonti, A.; Arndt, M.; Tasdemir, B.; Pederson, C.; Salamon, M. (2021): DGE-ROLLOUT: Promoting Deep Geothermal Energy in North-West Europe; Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2020+1, Reykjavik.

Fritschle, T.; Strozyk, F.; Oswald, T.; Stubbe, H.; Salamon, M. (2021): Deep geothermal energy potential at Weisweiler, Germany: Exploring subsurface mid-Palaeozoic carbonate reservoir rocks; ZDGG 172(3).

Jüstel, A.; Humm, E.; Herbst, E.; Strozyk, F.; Kukla, P.; Bracke, R. (2024): Unveiling the Spatial Distribution of Heat Demand in North-West-Europe Compiled with National Heat Consumption Data; Energies, 17(2).

Laurent, A.; Beccaletto, L.; Averbuch, O.; Graveleau, F.; Lacquement, F.; Caritg, S.; Marc, S.; Capar, L. (2021): Modelling the 3D geometry of the Dinantian carbonate geothermal reservoir in northern France; ZDGG 172(3).

Narayan, N. S.; Adams, C. A.; Gluyas, J. G. (2021): Karstified and fractured Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) limestones of the UK ‒ A cryptic geothermal reservoir; ZDGG 172(3).

Pederson, C.; Mueller, M.; Lippert, K.; Igbokwe, O. A.; Riechelmann, S.; Lersch, S.; Benger, P.; Verdecchia, A.; Immenhauser, A. (2021): Impact of a regional fault zone on the properties of a deep geothermal carbonate reservoir unit (Devonian of NRW); ZDGG 172(3).

Pharaoh, T.; Jones, D.; Kearsey, T.; Newell, A.; Abesser, C.; Randles, T.; Patton, A.; Kendall, R. (2021): Early Carboniferous limestones of southern and central Britain: Characterisation and preliminary assessment of deep geothermal prospectivity; ZDGG 172(3).

Pracht, M.; Rogers, R.; McConnell, B. J. (2021): Mississippian (Dinantian) of Ireland and its geothermal potential; ZDGG 172(3).

Seib, L.; Welsch, B.; Bossennec, C.; Frey, M.; Sass, I. (2022): Finite element simulation of permeable fault influence on a medium deep borehole thermal energy storage system; Geothermal Energy 10(15).

van der Vaart, J.; Bär, K.; Frey, M.; Reinecker, J.; Sass, I. (2021): Quantifying model uncertainty of a geothermal 3D model of the Cenozoic deposits in the northern Upper Rhine Graben, Germany;  ZDGG 172(3).

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