Geothermal Energy in Niger

  • Niger is covered ~80% by the Sahara Desert. Some outcrops of faulted gneissic formations are present. In central Niger, the Aïr Massif is a granitic extension of the Tuareg Shield of the Pan-African Belt. This Massif has different types of granitic plutons intrusions, resulting from pulsed magma in dykes rising and ponding, controlled by regional deformation and surrounded by greenstone belts. Hydrothermal mineralisation has deposited valuable minerals in some areas. Cenozoic volcanic features occur in some southern portions of the Massif with volcanic cones, one of the largest ring dyke (collapsed calderas) systems in the world, and lava flows. These intrusive features offer potential heat flux pathways;
  • Highly mineralised thermal springs are found in Aïr Massif in the extremely arid Agadez region. More work would be needed to investigate depths and temperatures of potential hydrothermal reservoirs associated with these springs;
  • Further data collection and field work is required to better identify these thermal resources, but initial reviews indicate that there are potential development opportunities in these areas able to be developed with low and medium enthalpy Binary ORC power generation solutions. Good geoscience tools are available to help incrementally explore and de-risk the areas of potentially suitable heat energy sources before more expensive drilling is required;
  • Geothermal Energy could be a domestic source of economically affordable electricity to help mitigate Energy Poverty whilst replacing other energy sources with high carbon footprints such as biomass, oil, and coal. Only 14% of people have access to the utility grid which also has stability issues. Better access to clean water and improved sanitation will require more energy.

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