Energy Department Announces $10 Million to Accelerate Enhanced Geothermal Systems Commercialization
February 21, 2014
In support of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced $10 million dollars to improve subsurface characterization for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) by developing state-of-the-art methods to quantify critical reservoir properties . New methods to interrogate attributes of engineered reservoirs will speed the deployment of this next-generation geothermal technology and position geothermal energy as a core component in the U.S. clean energy mix.
To generate renewable power around the clock, EGS projects produce energy from intensely hot rocks buried thousands of feet below the surface. EGS systems initially lack the permeability or fluid saturation found in naturally occurring geothermal systems. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated this vast, untapped thermal resource is between 100 and 500 gigawatts, enough to continuously power millions of American homes.
This funding opportunity will support up to ten, three-year, collaborative research and development projects focused on applying innovative technologies to obtain and process high-precision data to better characterize and target potential EGS sites. EGS research advances the Department's goal of proving next-generation clean energy technologies by driving down the costs of commercial-scale EGS projects to eventually produce cost-competitive, renewable electricity for American homes and businesses.
The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. EERE supports innovative technologies that reduce both risk and costs of bringing geothermal power online. Learn more about the Department's efforts to develop geothermal energy.