The energy crisis is real and has been identified as one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. It requires immediate action to secure sustainable development all around the world. Population growth, industrialisation, and automobile growth have created higher energy demand, which has been supplied mainly by the available limited natural resources such as coal and oil/gas. Currently, these conventional fossil fuels from deep earth are able to accommodate the global energy demand, yet at a great cost to the environment. Some of the unavoidable outcomes of conventional energy resources include climate change (due to increasing levels of atmospheric CO2), global warming, and rising sea levels.
Climate change and the energy crisis are widely accepted in the world, with the United Nations (UN) including it in their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy – ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; and Goal 13: Climate Action – take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Within this sustainable framework, some of the widely accepted and well-known techniques are: CO2 capture and storage, renewable energy recovery such as geothermal energy, and natural gas recovery.
In relation to these techniques, the journal Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources (G4) publishes original research, new developments, and case studies in the field of geomechanics and geophysics. The journal G4 also covers emerging topics such as unconventional oil and gas recovery, gas hydrates, waste-to-wealth (including re-using waste CO2), enhanced geothermal energy, mining and resource recovery (including future mining), and geological disposal of energy sector wastes (including sequestration of CO2).
Of all these key areas, CO2 sequestration and enhanced renewable (geothermal) energy recovery are among the top five approaches currently on the table. With the influence of the COVID-19 virus, CO2 emissions have considerably reduced thanks to low automobile usage and limited work hours in industry. This could potentially lead to a sudden rise in CO2 emission in the post-COVID-19 economy. Therefore, researchers, discussions, collaborations, and publications on sustainable resource recovery to mitigate climate change are of the utmost importance – more than ever before.
In G4’s special issue Geologic CO2 Sequestration: Progress and Challenges, articles are published embracing a wide range of topics including CO2 enhanced oil recovery, CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers, impacts of CO2 leakage, and CO2 leakage detection. In the recently published special issue Sustainable development and utilization of geothermal systems, the content covers vital areas including heat extraction capacity prediction, geothermal energy potential, reservoir fracturing, fluid flow characteristics, geophysical responses, and CO2 emissions from renewables. The journal G4, including the special issues and other general issues, discusses experimental, numerical, mathematical, and analytical approaches required to facilitate sustainable resource recovery now and in the future.
It is clear, the time has arrived to accept that natural resources are limited and climate change is already upon us. Therefore, we must use new techniques and methodologies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of resource recovery by promoting renewable and sustainable approaches. This will ensure the existence of a better world for our future generations.
Biography: Ranjith Pathegama
Ranjith Pathegama is Professor of Sustainable Development of Energy and Resources at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Monash University. His research focuses on recovery of mineral and hydrocarbon resources, deep geothermal energies, waste-to-wealth, and climate mitigation methods including carbon sequestration in geological formations. Professor Ranjith is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his research contributions. Notable among these are the Australian Leadership Award as “a world leader in cutting-edge technical research into renewable energy technologies” (2012); Elsevier-Scopus Excellence in Sustainability Research Award in resource recovery (2017); Visiting Advanced Joint Research Award for geothermal energy (2018); and election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (2019), Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3 – the most prestigious body for minerals and mining; 2020), and Fellow of the Geological Society, UK 2020). Professor Ranjith has advised 42 PhD students and 26 early career researchers, many of whom hold leading positions in academia and industry. In recognition of his excellence in teaching and mentoring, he received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Mentoring in 2014. He has authored and co-authored over 450 publications in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, and conferences. He founded the International Conference on Geomechanics for GeoEnergy and GeoResources (IC3G). And he is the Director and the founder of the Deep Earth Energy Laboratory (www.3gdeep.com) which is a unique laboratory for developing revolutionary technologies for future mining and energy recovery from deep earth. He currently serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief, along with four others, of Geomechanics and Geophysics for GeoEnergy and GeoResource.