Special Issue "Sustainable Geothermal Energy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lorenzo Talluri
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
Interests: energy engineering; engineering thermodynamics; thermal engineering; fluid dynamics
Dr. Fausto Batini
Guest Editor
Geothermal Energy Consulting s.r.l., 56045 Montecerboli, Italy
Interests: geothermal energy; resource assessment; drilling; environmental monitoring; risk assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the long-term goals of the European Union is to reach climate neutrality by 2050. This objective, coupled with the Paris Agreement target (limiting global warming below 2°C), favors the development of new innovative technologies for the exploitation of renewable energies.

Among renewables, geothermal energy has the advantage of having the highest resource availability, not depending on weather conditions. Geothermal energy systems exploit the heat content of the Earth’s interior, as the Earth is slowly cooling down. The total global output of the Earth’s heat flow is over 4x1013 W, which is four times higher than the actual energy consumption; however, only a small part of this heat flux can be exploited.

Geothermal power plants can be categorized into shallow geothermal and deep geothermal. Shallow geothermal power plants exploit low temperature heat sources at the surface, with a maximum of well drilling in the range of 250 m, and are suitable for low temperature heat generation. Deep geothermal power plants, by contrast, are considered when wells are drilled deep, from 1 to 5 km within the Earth, or even deeper with the newest drilling technologies. Deep geothermal exploration allows reaching higher temperatures, which enables the conversion of geothermal heat in electricity.

Geothermal energy can therefore be exploited for the production of electricity, heating, and cooling. This multiscope characteristic enhances its prospective of utilization in the direction of a clean, sustainable future. Furthermore, geothermal power production is yet to be fully exploited, and new technologies, such as EGS, “closed-loop” total reinjection power plants, cutting edge resources such as supercritical, magmatic, geopressured, off-shore, and heat storage integrated in the circular economy, are under investigation.

The sustainability of geothermal energy therefore becomes a pivotal objective in relation to the meeting of the expected climate goals. Shallow and deep geothermal exploitation could both play an important role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and environmental pollution. In addition, the coupling of a smart energy strategy with a possible utilization of subsurface energy storage is bound to boost the green energy scenario. Indeed, geothermal energy is not present only in Europe or only in developed countries, but there are several places where it can be exploited, especially in many developing countries.

The purpose of this Special Issue is therefore to collect recent state-of-the-art research and review articles on sustainable geothermal energy systems. The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  1. “Closed-loop” total reinjection—zero emissions power plants;
  2. Emission reduction from existing geothermal power plants;
  3. Life cycle assessment of geothermal power plants;
  4. Smart storage geothermal solutions;
  5. Sustainable geothermal systems;
  6. Integration of new technologies for geothermal enhancement;
  7. Toward a 100% renewable energy scenario, the role of geothermal energy;
  8. Shallow geothermal applications, a way to decrease global emissions.

Dr. Lorenzo Talluri
Dr. Fausto Batini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • renewable energy
  • zero emission
  • geothermal power
  • total reinjection
  • innovative power plants
  • binary cycle
  • ORC
  • CO2
  • cogeneration
  • heat recovery
  • storage
  • trigeneration
  • abatement systems
  • smart energy storage
  • sustainable energy
  • LCA

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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