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Energy Geoscience and Engineering

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Challenges and Innovations in Geomechanics (IACMAG 2021)


Quality of life is strongly correlated with power consumption. The geo-disciplines have a crucial role to play in the energy challenge by contributing solutions to all kind of energy resources from resource recovery to energy and waste storage. Energy geoengineering requires a broad understanding of physical processes (sediments, fractured rocks and complex multiphase fluids), coupled phenomena, constitutive models for extreme conditions, and wide-ranging spatial and time scales. Numerical methods are critical for the analysis, design, and optimal operation of energy geosystems under both short and long-term conditions. Furthermore, they allow “numerical experiments” at temporal and spatial scales that are unattainable in the laboratory. Yet, computer power can provide a false sense of reality and unjustified confidence; simulations face uncertainties related to the validation of complex multi-physics codes, limited data, excessive numbers of degrees of freedom, ill-conditioning, and uncertain model parameters. Dimensional analyses help identify the governing processes and allow for simpler and more reliable simulations. Educational programs must evolve to address the knowledge needs in energy geoscience and engineering.

Note: This manuscript updates and complements the 50th terzaghi lecture Delivered at the 2014 Geo-Congress ( the special issue of the KSCE journal (April 2011) explores energy geotechnology.

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Support for this research was provided by the KAUST Endowment at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. G. E. Abelskamp edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Juan Carlos Santamarina .

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Appendix A: Energy Resources – Summary Tables

Table A1. Oil (33% of worldwide energy consumption)
Table A2. Gas (24% of worldwide energy consumption)
Table A3. Coal (27% of worldwide energy consumption)
Table A4. Geothermal (0.2-to-0.3% of worldwide energy consumption)
Table A5. Solar (~1% of worldwide energy consumption)*
Table A6. Wind (~1% of worldwide energy consumption and ~2.5% of electricity)*
Table A7. Bio fuels (7.7% of worldwide energy consumption; >90% of heat generated from renewables)
Table A8. Hydroelectric Power (2.6% of worldwide energy consumption (14% of global electricity)
Table A9. Nuclear Energy and Waste (4% of worldwide energy consumption)

Appendix B: Storage

Table B1. Energy storage
Table B2. Geological storage of CO2

Appendix C: Conservation and Efficiency

Table C1. Energy conservation and efficiency in geotechnical engineering - embodied energy

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Santamarina, J.C., Rached, R. (2021). Energy Geoscience and Engineering. In: Barla, M., Di Donna, A., Sterpi, D. (eds) Challenges and Innovations in Geomechanics. IACMAG 2021. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 125. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-64513-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-64514-4

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