Geothermal Energy Gets DOE Funding Boost

To accelerate the development of geothermal energy technologies in the U.S., Steven Chu has announced $38 million in awards to support 32 projects aimed at developing and testing new ways to locate geothermal resources and improve resource characterization, drilling, and reservoir engineering techniques.

This funding is in addition to a $70 million award for similar projects announced in June. Funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, these advancements in geothermal energy are expected to help make the technologies more cost competitive with conventional baseload electricity generation.

The selected projects will aim to lower the cost and financial risk associated with confirming and characterizing geothermal resources, and will help to overcome key technical challenges to creating viable reservoirs and improving geothermal system sustainability. Funded projects will perform feasibility studies validated through vigorous laboratory-based research and field testing.

“The projects announced today will provide opportunities for clean energy innovations that will ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in geothermal energy development and expand the nation’s use of this important renewable energy resource,” said Secretary Chu. Awardees include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Potter Drilling, Stanford University, Colorado School of Mines and Sandia National Laboratories.