DOE to Provide $70 Million
In support of President Obama's goal of generating 80% of the country's electricity from clean energy sources by 2035, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the availability of up to $70 million in new funding over three years for technology advancements in geothermal energy. The focues will be on innovations in exploration technologies to locate geothermal energy resources and improvements in resource characterization, drilling, and reservoir engineering techniques. By targeting funding to research and develop these technologies, the Department aims to reduce the upfront cost of geothermal energy systems, expand their use, and enable the United States to tap the potential of this renewable energy resource.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), new geothermal resources could add up to 30 gigawatts of renewable energy to the U.S. energy supply, and enhanced geothermal systems - through the development of engineered reservoirs and other methods - have the potential for an even greater impact. This competitive funding opportunity will support the Department's goals of lowering the cost and financial risk associated with confirming and characterizing geothermal resources and overcoming key technical challenges to reservoir creation and sustainability in enhanced geothermal systems. The ultimate goal is to reduce the cost of new geothermal resources and enhanced geothermal systems so they are competitive with conventional sources of electricity.
The funding will support the Department's partnerships with industry, national laboratories, and academia to advance several key research areas:
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