Greetings from the President

In October 2021, Japan’s Sixth Basic Energy Plan was presented. The plan sets targets for the breakdown of primary energy supply in FY2030 as follows: about 31% oil, 22-23% renewable energy, 19% coal, 18% natural gas, 9-10% nuclear power, and 1% hydrogen and ammonia. Particularly, in terms of the electric power source composition ratio, the target of renewable energy is ambitious, increasing from around 22-24% in the Fifth Basic Energy Plan in 2018 to around 36-38%. While solar and wind power are assumed to be the main renewable energy sources to be significantly increased, geothermal power is also planned to be increased from 593,000 kW installed at the time the basic energy plan was formulated to 1,480,000 kW in FY2030 as a result of strengthened policies. To this end, the plan includes the early development and operation of conventional geothermal power plants currently under investigation at new sites, as well as the development of technologies for the utilization of supercritical geothermal resources.

Because geothermal development targets the unseen underground, there are many challenges with current underground understanding and technology. Even if the underground conditions are estimated through various surveys, drilling a well may end in failure because no steam or hot water is obtained. Therefore, geothermal development requires the advancement of science, such as an understanding of underground structures and phenomena, as well as technology, such as how to economically extract hot water and steam for use in power generation and hydrothermal applications.

The Geothermal Research Society of Japan (GRSJ) was established in 1978 as an academic society with the objective of advancing the knowledge on geothermal-related sciences and technologies and sharing them among the society members, as well as making them widely available to the public. Members’ specialties span a wide range from academic fields, such as geology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, thermodynamics, social science, and environmental science, to technical fields including well drilling, installation of pipeline, power generation, direct use, and ground source heat pump systems.

GRSJ’s main activities include publishing the technical journal (quarterly issue), holding an annual technical conference, disseminating geothermal information on its website. The society also holds a town forum for the public in conjunction with its annual conference. In cooperation with related domestic organizations such as the Japan Geothermal Association, the New Energy Foundation, and the Geo-Heat Promotion Association of Japan, as well as with related overseas organizations such as the International Geothermal Association and Geothermal Rising (formerly the Geothermal Resources Council), GRSJ jointly holds symposia and seminars to promote information exchange and discussions with geothermal experts in Japan and in the world. Through these activities, GRSJ contributes to the promotion of the research in geothermal energy and the development and utilization of geothermal resources.

Dr. Yasuhiro Fujimitsu
President, Geothermal Research Society of Japan