• Project definition: Literature survey of existing data and information from previous studies and an analysis of the conditions generally considered favourable for the presence of geothermal resources capable to develop into a commercially viable project. Furthermore, during this stage, the available geological maps and airborne data are examined, along with the identification of geophysical and geochemical sample sites. This stage is also usually associated with securing the exploration license.
  • Exploration: Acquisition of new geoscientific data (e.g. 3D seismic survey), integration of existing datasets with new ones, well path planning, transmission development and the process of securing drilling and testing permits (e.g. production well drilling permit) (GEA 2010[1]; Serdjuk et al. 2013[2]).
  • Drilling: Construction of the 1st full-size production/injection well, as well as subsequent resource development (i.e. the drilling of the second well in case of a doublet). The 1st well includes the construction of the drill pad, drilling and construction of the first well, production/injection test and fluid sample, as well as well stimulation in case of EGS. Resource development activities include drilling of a second well, doublet well testing / circulation test, drilling of any subsequent wells, as well as the acquisition of the plant construction permits.
  • Construction: Building the actual geothermal plant, facilities (pipelines, electric power transformation and transmission lines) and wells, as well as testing it considering all health and safety aspects. In case of a district network, this stage involves the construction or extension of the project, if applicable. Additionally, during construction, the connection to the grid/heating network is realised, along with securing the operation permits.
  • Operation: Commissioning and operation of the geothermal energy plant and the electricity generation/heating/cooling, its maintenance and monitoring.
  • Decommissioning and post-closure: Field rehabilitation into its original status, site closure, well plugging and monitoring for potential releases from abandoned wells.

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[1] GEA. 2010. New Geothermal Terms and Definitions. A Guide to Reporting Resource Development Progress and Results to the Geothermal Energy Association. Washington D.C.

[2] Serdjuk, Martina, P Dumas, L Angelino, and L Tryggvadóttir. 2013. “Geothermal Investment Guide.” http://www.geoelec.eu/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/D3.4.pdf.