Groundwater and Global Energy Security

Monday, December 4, 2017: 4:50 p.m.
Yu-Feng Lin, Ph.D., P.G., GISP , Illinois State Geological Survey-Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Yingchun Ge, Ph.D. , Northwest Institute and Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
Andrew Stumpf, Ph.D., P.G. , Illinois State Geological Survey-Prairie Research Institute, Universty of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL

Groundwater extraction for irrigation, industry, and drinking has a considerable impact on global energy consumption. In Punjab Province, India, up to 50% of electricity in the growing season powers groundwater pumps. In China, CO2 emissions from groundwater extraction is >0.5 % of the national total. With an expanding global population, and increased living standards, larger urban areas and anticipated economic growth, significant stress will be put on maintaining sustainable energy generation and use.

How best to deal with these challenges requires reassessment of energy policy, infrastructure, and efficiency. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports production of renewable energy is the fastest-growing sector and will be for many decades to come. Production and utilization of fossil fuels is often limited by their geographical distribution. In contrast, geothermal energy is distributed more widely in volcanic rocks and groundwater. Estimated total amount of heat contained in hot dry rock is ~10 billion quads, 300 times greater than fossil fuels. Some studies have predicted that the growth of geothermal energy could be average 6.5% annually to 2040.

Heating, ventilation and cooling of buildings is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (~33% worldwide). Energy usage in buildings accounts for 34.8% of the total in the US and 27.5% in China. To power a building requires energy be converted into different forms, mechanical energy to electricity to heat, and potential energy to mechanical energy, electricity to heat, nuclear energy to mechanical energy to heat, etc. These conversions result in significant energy losses that ultimately lower overall efficiency. However, the use of groundwater (aquifers) to store and transfer heat would be much more efficient, but require the installation ground-source heating exchange system. To address energy efficiency issues, the role of groundwater in global energy security will be evaluated.

Yu-Feng Lin, Ph.D., P.G., GISP, Illinois State Geological Survey-Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Dr. Yu-Feng Forrest Lin is a hydrogeologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lin is a licensed Professional Geoscientist and certified Geographic Information Systems Professional. He is also a Clinical Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Research Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and in the Illinois Informatics Institute since both institutes were established. He is presently one of the three Executive Editors for Groundwater, the journal published by NGWA. Lin's current research interests include fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS) in hydrogeology applications, geothermal analysis and monitoring, environmental impacts associated with geologic carbon sequestration, 3-D printing in geology applications, numerical modeling and parameter estimation for groundwater flow systems.


Yingchun Ge, Ph.D., Northwest Institute and Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
Senior Engineer at the Northwest Institute and Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Andrew Stumpf, Ph.D., P.G., Illinois State Geological Survey-Prairie Research Institute, Universty of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Associate Quaternary Geologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey-Prairie Research Institute, Universty of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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