Geothermal: The Next Generation


For New Zealand to achieve its goal of a carbon-neutral future, geothermal energy needs to be utilised to its full potential. We need to go beyond conventional geothermal techniques to tap deeper, supercritical resources.

Geothermal: The Next Generation is a programme led by GNS Science which builds on decades of research. Our work will minimise exploration and technological risks by detailing heat transfer at significant depth; examine interactions between New Zealand rocks and fluids at supercritical conditions; model system sustainability; and build a full picture of the potential of these resources. As we learn more about the behaviour of magma bodies and their high temperature envelop, as well as integrating fluid and heat transfer models at these supercritical conditions, we aim to constrain the best exploratory targets for supercritical fluids.

The programme assembles exceptional New Zealand and overseas geophysicists, geologists, experimental geochemists and modellers, as well as economic and Māori strategic investment advisors. Our priorities: creating the next generation of geothermal utilisation, inspiring the next generation of science leaders, and supporting economic prosperity for the next generation of New Zealanders.

This programme is designed to raise awareness and enhance conversations about future geothermal prospects for New Zealand. Building a communication platform via a website hub was an immediate target for the research team and we are pleased this month to launch Geothermal: The Next Generation website.

Isabelle Chambefort, Programme Leader