Support to the activities of the European Geological Services

05/01/22
1000000 €
ExpectedOutcome:

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • An improved evidence-based decision-making and long-term sustainable management of Europe’s subsurface, including offshore, needed to build a climate neutral continent.
  • Comprehensive inventory of harmonised data on primary raw materials in Europe, with a focus on applications of critical raw materials[1] for energy storage and power generation, resulting in a higher level of independence for Europe.
  • Comprehensive inventory of information on geothermal energy resources and subsurface storage capacities for sustainable energy carriers (hydrogen, heat and cold) and sequestration of CO2, based on common and national scale assessment criteria and standardised reporting.
  • Improved appraisal, protection and sustainable use – including appraisal of capacities for temporary storage - of Europe’s groundwater resources, which are under increasing pressure because of climate change and competing uses of the subsurface. Improved adaptation of coastal zones to the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
  • A strong and sustainable network of national Geological Survey organisations in order to provide geological knowledge and services on a Pan-European level.
Scope:

The growing demand for energy, raw materials and water is a key challenge for Europe, requiring a more integrated, efficient and sustainable use of these resources. Europe is increasingly dependent on global supply of mineral resources, in particular on those needed for application in power generation, energy storage and transport, for the transition to climate neutrality. However, until now there is no complete and harmonised data at European level on mineral resources and reserves. There is a need for standardised reporting and uniform appraisal of subsurface capacities for CO2 sequestration and temporary storage of sustainable energy carriers (including hydrogen and heat/cold) in order to support a secure, affordable and low-carbon energy supply. Groundwater resources are under increasing pressure as a result of climate change, as well as competing subsurface uses, including for mineral and energy resources. An up-to-date body of knowledge with high quality, policy-relevant geoscientific information and expertise, aggregated at the EU-level, at the service of European citizens, enterprises and institutions. This topic calls for concerted action to structurally address this challenge at European level, which is expected to ultimately lead to a Geological Service for Europe as a point of entry into a permanent collaborative network of National Geological Survey organisations.

For achieving these objectives, the action is expected to address the following issues:

  • Re-evaluation of European resources in primary raw materials and mining waste, with a focus on critical raw materials needed for climate transition, filling the currently existing gaps in data and information at European level.
  • Developing a database with FAIR[2] and harmonised data on mineral resources and reserves (excluding fossil fuels) according to United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC)[3], integrated in or linked to the EC managed geoportals (EU Open data portal[4] and EU INSPIRE Geoportal.
  • Developing an EU International Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Resource Management focused on promoting and building capacity on United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) for mineral resources (primary and secondary) and supporting the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS) in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Building and maintaining an integrated European geothermal resources database based on uniform appraisal techniques and resource classification standards. Extend the geothermal database with assessed storage options for heat and cold.
  • Deploying and maintaining a European storage atlas for CO2 and sustainable energy carriers like hydrogen and compressed air. Develop the knowledge for the subsurface management and planning of storage sites for CO2 and sustainable energy carriers.
  • Transnational, harmonised data gathering, managing under the FAIR[5] principles, monitoring and evaluation of groundwater dynamics and groundwater quality.
  • Collating and integrating geological and climate related information and data to assess and map coastal vulnerability, and to optimise siting of offshore windfarms (as well as associated infrastructure), in support of multifunctional use of pan-European marine space.
  • Developing - and partly implementing within the CSA - a research agenda, which includes the piloting of innovative cross-country data generation methods, to help achieve the expected impacts. Coordinating, integrating and aligning R&I programmes of European geological surveys. Furthermore, the CSA is encouraged to seek synergies with the EPOS European Research Infrastructure Consortium.
  • Developing a user-friendly digital Europe geological information system providing permanent data access, based on FAIR, and disseminating accurate, up-to-date, relevant and impartial data, information and knowledge developed by the partnership.
  • Transformation of these data into decision support information and intelligence, including the use of innovative modelling and visualisation in multiscale digital products.
  • Dissemination and communication of information and knowledge to stakeholders, including the general public.
  • Create a strong network of geological surveys, and develop a permanent structure in the form of a Geological Service for Europe able to sustain this network and the geological information system after the end of the programme.

The use of own resources, for example for implementing the proposed research agenda, will increase the potential impact of the action, and is strongly encouraged.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

EOSC and FAIR data

[1]COM(2020) 474 - Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path towards greater Security and Sustainability

[2]FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Further information: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/; and Final Report and Action Plan from the European Commission Expert Group on FAIR Data, “TURNING FAIR INTO REALITY” (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/turning_fair_into_reality_0.pdf)

[3]https://www.unece.org/energywelcome/areas-of-work/unfc-and-resource-management/about-unfc-and-sustainable-resource-management.html

[4]https://data.europa.eu/euodp/en/home

[5]FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)