An estimation of the enhanced geothermal systems potential for the Iberian Peninsula

Cesar R. Chamorro, Jose L. Garcia-Cuesta, María E. Mondéjar, María M. Linares

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


An estimation of the Enhanced Geothermal System's theoretical technical potential for the Iberian Peninsula is presented in this work. As a first step, the temperature at different depths (from 3500 m to 9500 m, in 1000 m steps) has been estimated from existing heat flow, temperature at 1000 m and temperature at 2000 m depth data. From the obtained temperature-at-depth data, an evaluation of the available heat stored for each 1 km thick layer between 3 and 10 km depth, under some limiting hypotheses, has been made. Results are presented as the net electrical power that could be installed, considering that the available thermal energy stored is extracted during a 30 year project life. The results are presented globally for the Iberian Peninsula and separately for Portugal (continental Portugal), Spain (continental Spain plus the Balearic Islands) and for each one of the administrative regions included in the study. Nearly 6% of the surface of the Iberian Peninsula, at a depth of 3500 m has a temperature higher than 150 degrees C. This surface increases to more than 50% at 5500 m depth, and more than 90% at 7500 m depth. The Enhanced Geothermal System's theoretical technical potential in the Iberian Peninsula, up to a 10 km depth (3 km-10 km) and for temperatures above 150 degrees C, expressed as potential installed electrical power, is as high as 700 GW(e), which is more than 5 times today's total electricity capacity installed in the Iberian Peninsula (renewable, conventional thermal and nuclear).
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable Energy
Pages (from-to)1-14
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Geothermal energy
  • EGS
  • EGS theoretical technical potential
  • Iberian Peninsula


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