Geothermal Energy Gets U.S. Funding Bump

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recently announced a round of funding aimed at helping geothermal energy efforts off the ground…or, perhaps more appropriately, IN the ground.

A recent announcement by DOE Secretary Steven Chu highlights the  availability of up to $70 million in new funding over three years for technology advancements in geothermal energy. The DOE believes that much research and development is needed in order to accelerate  geothermal energy development and make the process more efficient.

Neal Hot Springs Geothermal

image via US Geothermal

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), new geothermal resources could add up to 30 gigawatts of renewable energy to the U.S. energy supply but to make that projection a reality, the DOE believes development of innovative  exploration technologies is necessary to help locate prime geothermal energy resources. The funding is also intended to help advance drilling and reservoir engineering techniques so that when promising geothermal energy locations are identified, development on power plants can get moving faster.

A recent report from Pike Research indicates that, under the right conditions, geothermal energy could become a major part of the United States’ renewable energy portfolio, perhaps doubling in generation capacity over the next 9 years. As far as the Geothermal Energy Association is concerned, however, private funding for geothermal energy projects is what will be necessary to significantly expand geothermal’s role in the country’s energy production. Perhaps this DOE funding will attract some innovative ideas to the table and get geothermal moving in the right direction: down.

1 Comment

  • Reply June 15, 2011

    Jessica Janes

    Ironically, I just left a comment on the ecoimagination site, saying that geothermal may not be the hottest or sexiest renewable energy source, but that it will have its day. u00a0It looks like it has arrived, which is very exciting. u00a0If the oil companies can share their detechting and drilling technologies we will be able to move faster. u00a0If not, there are lots of smart people who can improve the geothermal detection technology. u00a0Great news.

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