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US DOE to issue funding opportunity on geothermal R&D

In early June 2011, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP) intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to expand its partnership with the geothermal community on geothermal systems research and development (R&D) throughout the United States in order to support GTP’s goal of lowering the cost of geothermal energy to 6 ¢/kWh.

GTP issued a Notice of Intent (DE-FOA-0000547) designed to provide an opportunity for potential applicants to begin developing partnerships and begin the process of gathering data to prepare their application.

GTP’s goal is to address the high exploration and drilling risks and costs for geothermal development and key technical barriers for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) in reservoir creation and sustainability. GTP hopes to achieve this goal by obtaining ideas to advance current drilling, reservoir engineering, and characterization technologies in order to identify and develop sustainable reservoirs at lower cost in the following Topic Areas:

  • Advanced Exploratory Drilling Technologies
  • Advanced Well Completion Technologies
  • Zonal Isolation
  • Observation Tools and Data Collection System for Reservoir Stimulation
  • Geophysical Exploration Technologies
  • Geochemistry/Rock-Fluid Interactions



lowering the cost of geothermal energy to 6 ¢/kWh

Now that is a tangible goal, more work like this could bring about some solutions. I am all for research, but development is where it happens to make a difference for the better.


If it can be done @ $0.06/Kwh it would be a real bargain that nobody could refuse. How much of it can be done in USA?


It is site dependent, there is a lot of geothermal on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and various parts of the country. You need to be near transmission lines and the easter Sierra has lines all the way from Reno, NV. to L.A. I would say many locations from central California to Washington state are candidates.


I live in Nevada and it's been well documented that the upper two-thirds of our state could be utilized for a massive geothermal rollout. In fact, it's been shown that, with current technologies, Nevada could produce enough geothermal electricity to power the US four times over. Yep, four times.
However, getting that electricity to Chicago and Baton Rouge and Jersey City is the tricky part...


I saw a map of geothermal and almost the whole state of Nevada was shown to be good for this kind of power generation. Just about every state is, but you have to drill down too far to get it. The places with heat at the surface are prime targets.

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