Foliage in a Nutshell

Energy GeoStructures are a special type of ground heat exchanger installed within ground contact structures, such as retaining walls, piles, tunnels and other buried infrastructure. Thy are a relatively mature technology whose physical behaviour has been studied, including at a number or pilot sites.

However, both technical and non-technical barriers still prevent actual implementation at a large scale. This applies both in terms of quantities and in geographical reach. Some of the challenges may be related to:

  • Integration issues, including of shallow geothermal energy with other renewables, and of energy geostructures with other shallow geothermal sources.
  • Upscaling from the mastering of individual structures to the planning of geothermal district heating and the connection with the city scale.
  • Sustainability in the long term in terms of Environmental Impact Assessment and knowledge of the long term energy performance.
  • The absence of a database of knowledge regarding existing energy geostructures, their implementation, characteristics and performance.
  • Retrofitting of existing buildings and/or existing geostructures.
  • Non technical issues related to legislation, financial incentives, social impact, lack of standardization or under-developed skills in the workforce.

In addition, the full potential of this technology is not explored and some opportunities still have to be investigated. Among them are the waste heat storage or the balance of energy loads at district scale.

The aim of this COST Action is to gather all needed information to reduce these barriers and foster development by creating a multi-disciplinary network between the different stakeholders (local authorities, communities, developers, designers, academics, contractors, …).

Action keywords

Energy geostructures - large scale implementation - long term energy performance - Environmental Impact - Retrofitting



35 (17)

Countries (ITC)


Young Researchers


Gender Balance ( F/M/NG )