On 24 January 2024, Sylvain Waserman, Chair and CEO of ADEME, and Catherine Lagneau, BRGM Chair and CEO, signed a new partnership agreement between the two organisations.
Catherine Lagneau, BRGM Chair and CEO, and Sylvain Waserman, Chair and CEO of the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), renewed the framework agreement between the two organisations on 24 January 2024. The aim of the agreement is to strengthen their cooperation in terms of research and expertise in order to increase knowledge and promote development of subsurface potential and to support public policies in favour of the ecological transition.
A long-standing partnership
ADEME and BRGM have a long history of collaboration, dating back to the 1980s when the focus was on geothermal energy. This collaboration led to the creation of joint structures such as the Institut Mixte de Recherches en Géothermie and the Compagnie Française de Géothermie. It remains as relevant as ever, as part of the national plan to accelerate the development of geothermal energy, updated by the French government in December 2023.
Since then, cooperation between the two establishments has been strengthened, with the addition of two major spheres of interest: polluted sites and soils (industrial wastelands, polluted soils and sediments, reclamation of coastal landfills, etc.) and the efficient management of raw and secondary materials as part of the development of the circular economy.
New areas of cooperation
Signed for a period of 5 years, the framework agreement provides for the addition of new cooperative ventures to the existing ones.
The geological storage of CO2 has now been included in the work that ADEME and BRGM are likely to undertake together. In particular, this will involve improving shared knowledge of the subsurface capacity for geological storage of carbon dioxide and analysing interactions with other types of exploitation (storage, geothermal energy, drinking water, etc.) from a “multi-use” perspective.
Another priority area is research into “white” hydrogen. The issue of there being natural hydrogen underground and whether or not it is possible to exploit it and deploy the necessary technologies is an emerging area of research that requires mutual sharing of expertise, including studying the possibilities for its underground storage in specific regions.
In extending their initial framework agreement, BRGM and ADEME have agreed to continue working together on the sustainable management of subsurface resources by bringing their complementary expertise to bear on issues common to both establishments.