The abundant geothermal resources in the USA usually do not reach temperatures sufficiently high to be harnessed through traditional processes. Thus, it is necessary to develop innovative technologies, aiming at demonstrating their technical and economic feasibility.
The seven financed projects fall within three research areas: low temperature fluids, highly pressurised fluids and fluids recovered from oil and gas wells.
"These innovative projects have the potential to expand the use of geothermal energy to more areas around the country," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The development of these technologies will allow us to tap into additional renewable energy resources, reduce carbon pollution and create new jobs."
Above all, the Department of Energy expects the experimentation to significantly help reduce initial costs of low temperature geothermal power plants.