DOE to award $165M to expand geothermal energy deployment

Published on August 02, 2022 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $165 million in funding to expand U.S. geothermal energy deployment through the Geothermal Energy from Oil and Gas Demonstrated Engineering (GEODE) initiative.

Some $10 million of that total will be used to form a consortium of experts to develop a roadmap for addressing technology and knowledge gaps in geothermal energy. The DOE will then use that roadmap to fund up to an additional $155 million in research to address those gaps.

“The U.S. has incredible, untapped geothermal potential beneath our very feet, which can be harnessed to meet our energy demands with a round-the-clock, clean renewable resource,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “Leveraging the extensive knowledge, technology, skill, and experience of the oil and gas sector is the perfect way to tackle barriers to geothermal deployment while also giving fossil-fuel-based communities and workers a role in the transition to clean energy.”

While the U.S. geothermal resource is vast, only a small portion has been developed due to unique challenges associated with subsurface environments. Process issues of geothermal projects, such as long permitting timelines, have also been an obstacle.

However, there are new opportunities for geothermal expansion, including advances in drilling and well construction and co-production possibilities in existing oil and gas basins. Tapping into the expertise, technologies, and experience of the larger domestic oil and gas industry can help overcome barriers. Through private investment and industry collaboration, geothermal deployment can expand at least 60 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity, enough to power more than 40 million American homes.