Geothermal Data Systems

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) is designing and testing a comprehensive, federated information system that will make geothermal data widely available. This new National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) will provide access to all types of geothermal data to enable geothermal analysis and widespread public use thereby reducing the risk of geothermal energy development.

The NGDS will provide public access to geothermal data nodes across the country. In partnership with the American Association of State Geologists, geothermal data from all 50 states and Puerto Rico will also be publicly available and accessible through the NGDS. For additional information, including geothermal data templates used for uploading geothermal data to the NGDS, please go to the  State Geothermal Data website.

Background information on the NGDS is available in our NGDS Fact Sheet, NGDS Strategy Presentation, and in these peer review presentations: NGDS-DOE Geothermal Data Repository Node Presentation (2012 Peer Review), Fueling Innovation and Adoption by Sharing Data on the DOE Geothermal Data Repository (2013 Peer Review).

Data Development and Collection

Data development, collection and population is a major undertaking currently underway. DOE research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) partners are required to submit geothermal project and site data to the DOE Geothermal Data Repository (DOE-GDR) – one of many geothermal data repositories that will link into the National Geothermal Data System. For instructions on how to submit data to the DOE-GDR, click on the link below.

Resource Assessment and Classification

National

Resource assessments better define the energy generation potential of a geothermal resource in a given location. Several national reports have been released that highlight the massive potential for geothermal energy in the United States.

U.S. map showing the favorability of enhanced geothermal systems and identified hydrothermal locations.

Maps like this are a result of GTO's analysis work. View maps that show geothermal resources and power capacity in the United States and globally.

The Geothermal Technologies Office currently supports the U.S. Geological Survey in updating and developing new geothermal resource assessments and in the classification of the geothermal resource into temperature regimes high enough to support power production and lower resources that can be used directly for heating and cooling.

To kick off the geothermal resource classification effort, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Dr. Colin Williams and GTO Physical Scientist Arlene Anderson published a technical paper entitled Updating the Classification of Geothermal Resources on February 1, 2011 at Stanford University's 36th Geothermal Reservoir Engineering Workshop. Dr. Williams also presented the proposed updated classification at the National Research Council in Washington D.C. on January 7, 2011 where it was broadcast via webinar to more than 80 domestic and international geothermal stakeholders (presentation slides).

State

Find out more about geothermal resource assessments by state.

Supply Curves

Supply curves provide an assessment of the cost of developing geothermal resources based on resource assessments and current and future technologies. They also help characterize the supply of electricity generation potential from geothermal resources. GTO uses supply curve data to support portfolio development and market penetration models.

This report documents the approach used to update the U.S. geothermal supply curve: 2009 U.S. Geothermal Supply UpdatePDF

GTO develops geothermal supply curves to help define the levelized cost of electricity for developing co-produced low-temperature resources, which will be used to model the market penetration potential of these resources, identify the most economical resources for development, and direct research to help reduce the cost of more expensive geothermal resources.