U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced the availability of up to $70 million in new funding over three years for technology advancements in geothermal energy to accelerate development and reduce costs of this renewable energy resource.
These funds will go toward achieving the goals of the Obama administration to generate 80% of the country’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.
"By investing in geothermal technologies, we are also investing in our nation's energy future and creating opportunities for energy innovation in the United States," says Secretary Chu. "The United States remains a global leader in geothermal energy development, and we can leverage our experience to develop more energy here at home while increasing our competitiveness in the global clean energy economy."
The funding will advance key geothermal research areas:
- Advanced Exploratory Drilling Technologies – The projects will focus on reducing the cost of exploratory drilling
- Advanced Well Completion Technologies – These projects will focus on lowering the cost of completing geothermal wells
- Tools to Isolate Fracture Zones within a Well – These projects will work to control injection and production of water in geothermal systems
- Observation Tools and Data Collection System for Reservoir Stimulation – These projects will help to monitor and optimize reservoir creation
- Geophysical Exploration Technologies – These projects will include remote sensing, improved data processing and advanced seismic surveying technologies to better locate hidden resources
- Geochemistry and Rock-Fluid Interactions – These projects will focus on better characterizing geothermal resources and predicting reservoir temperatures.