GEONORM will enable the decarbonisation of the heating sector with the sustainable replacement of hydrocarbon sources by a mix of renewable energy. This mix, including geothermal, is the central theme of the project.

The novel approach of the project includes an assessment of the contribution of geothermal energy to the district heating system at UCD by modelling multiple scenarios linked to geological uncertainty and the evolving technology within the geothermal sector. The analysis will include optimal renewable energy mix modelling and quantitative assessment of the system’s overall energy efficiency and economics.


The UCD-DHS operates on three gas boilers (emitting CO2 gas). Since 2012 Biomass and Solar PV systems have been used to supplement the gas boilers, however, their use as part of a multi-generator energy system has not been fully optimised. The proposed optimisation through the inclusion of geothermal energy along with other renewable energy sources into the existing DHS has significant potential to reduce long-term energy costs and CO2 emissions. GEONORM aims to assess the geothermal resource potential at UCD through a suit of geological, geophysical, and reservoir simulation techniques, investigate state-of-the-art geothermal heat extraction and storage systems, model optimal energy scenarios and finally assess their techno-economic feasibilities in UCD- DHS context.


Geological and geophysical analysis will de-risk the geothermal resource potential by investigating the subsurface structural and stratigraphic architecture and the 3D distribution of petrophysical and geothermal properties. Basin modelling and simulations will provide predictions of the energy production capacity of a conceptual geothermal system for a variety of scenarios, including single-well and doublets, open and closed loops, for a range of reservoir depths (<1km-3km) and state-of-the-art geothermal energy extraction technologies.


  • Provide a platform to accelerate the development and implementation of deep geothermal energy in an Irish context, a renewable energy resource which has hitherto been under-utilised in Ireland;
  • Investigate solutions to the technical barriers of broadening
    Ireland’s renewable energy mix;
  • Perform international class energy RD & D within an emerging field;
  • Will provide advice and support to public bodies, industry and institutional heating schemes on geothermal processes and systems.


  • Total Cost: €384,198
  • Duration: 36 months


  • UCD Energy Institute (EI)
  • Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG)
  • Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS)
  • Causeway Geothermal (CG)
  • Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions (GDG)
  • University College Dublin (UCD)
  • Dublin City University (DCU)
GEONORM  is funded by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) under the Research Development and Demonstration Programme.


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