U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Geothermal Technologies Office
The Future of Geothermal Energy
Recent national focus on the value of increasing our supply of indigenous, renewable energy underscores the need for reevaluating all alternatives, particularly those that are large and well distributed nationally. Such an evaluation will help determine how we can enlarge and diversify the portfolio of options we should be vigorously pursuing. One such option is geothermal energy, produced from both conventional hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). An 18-member assessment panel was assembled in September 2005 to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of EGS becoming a major supplier of primary energy for the U.S.and determined that this technology has the potential for 100,000 megawatts of base-load generation capacity by 2050. The panel's report was issued in January 2007.
The report is divided up into sections below for more rapid downloading. The entire report (PDF 22.6 MB) is also available.
The following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.
- Title page, credits, copyright notice, panel members, and Table of Contents (PDF 6.75 MB)
- Chapter 1: Synopsis and Executive Summary, methodologies, and References (PDF 4.84 MB)
- Chapter 2: Geothermal Resource-Base Assessment (PDF 7.9 MB)
- Chapter 3: Recoverable EGS Resource Estimates (PDF 446 KB)
- Chapter 4: Review of EGS and Related Technology - Status and Achievements (PDF 4.29 MB)
- Chapter 5: Subsurface System Design Issues and Approaches (PDF 905 KB)
- Chapter 6: Drilling Technology and Costs (PDF 2.45 MB)
- Chapter 7: Energy Conversion Systems - Options and Issues (PDF 574 KB)
- Chapter 8: Environmental Impacts, Attributes, and Feasibility Criteria (PDF 1.75 MB)
- Chapter 9: Energy-Sector Fundamentals: Economic Analysis, Projections, and Supply Curves (PDF 2.93 MB)
- Appendices (PDF 207 KB)