The Decarbonisation and Resource Management challenge (DRM) fits within the context of increased need to decarbonise energy and industry, a need to use resources more optimally, intense global competition for resources , and a need to expand the delivery of affordable sustainable energy across the world .
Deep geological disposal is a key solution to long-term, safe management of radioactive waste but it requires understanding of complex subsurface processes for up to one million years in the future. Important science considerations include:
- Containment: understanding of subsurface fluid processes is vital to the containment of radioactive materials.
- Siting: understanding the geology of a geo-disposal site will inform safe site selection.
The CO2 Storage Topic will support the UK, Europe and other countries in developing safe, efficient CO2 storage, to decarbonise industry, power, transport and heating to meet Net Zero targets.
- Planning a CO2 storage site: developing a carbon dioxide (CO₂) storage pilot.
- Developing and maintaining technologies and methodologies: predicting the evolution of the CO₂ plume by observing site behaviour before, during and after injection of CO₂.
- Containment: selecting and characterising geological sites that are expected to enable permanent containment.
- CO₂ injection, pressure management and storage optimisation: understanding the limits on pressure increases, improving methods for injection and managing pressure increases.
- Planning and licensing regulation.
Energy storage is a new topic area for BGS with the following strategy:
- To quantify the energy storage potential (capacity and location) offered by UK geological formations;
- To investigate and address geological barriers and hazards associated with the deployment of underground energy storage;
- To improve knowledge of thermal, hydrogeological, mechanical, chemical and microbiological influences on underground energy storage;
- To establish collaborative and innovative approaches to address these objectives
The emphasis of this topic’s research will be on the UK, where rapid development of geothermal power and heat, and geo-exchange applications is urgently needed. Three priority areas have been identified that will be the focus of the topic’s activities over the next five years. Research in these areas is expected to have considerable impact, e.g. through reducing uncertainties in resource identification, supporting policy and regulation, and by generating knowledge that supports technology deployment and increases the numbers of geothermal applications in the UK over the next 5-10 years. The research will be delivered through three subtopics :
- Geothermal Road Map
- Geothermal potential of Carboniferous Basins
- Subsurface Urban Heat Resources
The hydrocarbons systems topic will support UK and overseas governments, the World Bank, other national geoscience organisations, oil company consortia and Oil and Gas UK by providing geological advice and research in exploration and development activity. The long term strategy of the topic area is to develop sustainable hydrocarbon systems for the energy transition and decarbonisation.
Understanding the origin, transport and concentration of the metals and materials that are critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy.