Unearthing Sustainable Solutions: A Deep Dive into Low-Temperature Geothermal Systems

Hary's Experience at the International Summer School on Thermogeology in Slovenia


Yonathan Hary Hutagalung

Yonathan "Hary" Hutagalung , an ambitious geologist from Indonesia, is pursuing his MSc in Sustainable Energy at the Iceland School of Energy (ISE). Hary's journey in geothermal energy began with his BSc in Geology from the  University of Canterbury  in Christchurch, New Zealand. Eager to expand his knowledge and skills, he moved to Iceland. His journey at ISE has been marked by a keen interest in geothermal systems, particularly high-temperature ones. 

However, recognizing the widespread availability and diverse utilization potential of low-temperature geothermal resources, Hary jumped at the opportunity to study this aspect of geothermal energy in Slovenia as part of the  EEA project INFO-GEOTHERMAL . This shift in focus has expanded his knowledge and reshaped his perspective on sustainable energy.

A Summer School of Global Learning

Hary's thirst for knowledge and open-minded approach to learning led him to participate in the second International Summer School on Thermogeology, held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 3 to 8 July 2023. The summer school was organized by the Geological Survey of Slovenia and the Department of Geology at NTF-UL, with support from the Iceland School of Energy - Reykjavik University and co-funding from the EEA project INFO-GEOTHERMAL and the project COST Geothermal DHC.

Thermogeology Summer School 02

During the event, participants were introduced to the development of new geothermal projects, best research practices, technologies for utilizing shallow geothermal energy and thermal water, and optimizing plant operations to minimize environmental and human impacts and make them sustainable in the long term. In addition to the lectures, a full-day excursion to the north-east of Slovenia, a region with the highest geothermal potential, and fieldwork in Ljubljana were organized.

Immersive Learning and Cultural Exchange

The summer school program was intensive, combining lectures, site visits, and laboratory work, often concluding late in the afternoon. One of the notable visits was to the Si-Geo-Electricity power plant, a converted gas well turned into a geothermal plant that provides 400MWe annually using ammonia in an adapted Kalina cycle. Another fascinating visit was to Kronoterm, a heat pump factory contributing to harnessing heat more sustainably.

Hary was particularly impressed by the range of specialists who delivered lectures in the thermogeology field. Learning from these experts and interacting with fellow students from diverse backgrounds enriched his understanding of the subject and broadened his perspective.

The summer school was not just about academics but also a cultural exchange. Hary and other participants got to experience Slovenia's local culture, traditions, and customs. This cultural immersion added another layer to his learning experience, making his time at the summer school genuinely memorable.

A New Perspective on Geothermal Energy

Coming from Indonesia, a region abundant in geothermal resources, and having studied high-temperature geothermal areas in New Zealand and Iceland, Hary found the summer school program eye-opening. It underscored the significant role that low-temperature sources play in the real world, a fact often overlooked in regions rich in high-temperature geothermal resources.


Looking Ahead

Hary's experience at the summer school has further fueled his passion for sustainable energy. He is now more motivated than ever to explore low-temperature geothermal systems and contribute to the sustainable energy world. His journey inspires his classmates at ISE, demonstrating the power of curiosity, the importance of continuous learning, and the value of cultural exchange in shaping a sustainable future.


Hary's story is a testament to the opportunities and experiences that ISE offers its students, empowering them to become leaders in the field of energy on a global scale. His journey is an example of how ISE bridges the gap between classroom learning and real-world applications, fostering a generation of future innovators in sustainable energy.


About Iceland School of Energy

By bringing together the best from industry and academia, Iceland School of Energy provides a unique, and comprehensive training for its students. A wide range of courses taught by the very best in their field open a broad spectrum of possibilities for students and allow for individual study designs. Focus is put on close collaboration with industry experts while maintaining high academic quality of the work.

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