DOE announces $12 million to boost geothermal energy research

October 11, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy announced on September 22 $12 million in funding for seven research projects to advance the commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) — manmade reservoirs that produce clean, renewable energy.

EGS development could expand U.S. geothermal energy capabilities and extend the use of geothermal energy into new geographic areas across the country.

This funding will help develop and deploy technologies and techniques that will enable efficient and lower-cost geothermal heat production. Through this investment, the DOE will advance its goals of driving down EGS costs and accelerating the path toward widespread commercialization. Through technology improvement, geothermal power generation could increase 26-fold, deploying 60 gigawatts-electric of clean energy by 2050 that could power as many as 60 million homes.

The selectees include —

  • Cornell University: $2.3 million
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: $1.7 million
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology: $2.3 million
  • Montana State University: $1.5 million
  • Oklahoma State University: $1.0 million
  • Pennsylvania State University, University Park: $1.0 million
  • University of New Mexico: $2.0 million.

From investing $14.5 million earlier this year to testing EGS within existing wells to continued research around applying machine learning techniques to geothermal exploration, the DOE is committed to advancing technologies that rapidly increase geothermal development while pushing the frontiers of science and investing in projects that support equity, inclusion, and a clean energy future for all Americans.

For more information about the selectees and additional program areas, visit the DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office’s website.