On Wednesday, the Department of Energy made a groundbreaking announcement that seven geothermal pilot projects have been selected to receive funding, totaling up to $73 million, to further advance geothermal electricity generation. This funding, which is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow these cutting-edge projects to push the boundaries of geothermal technology.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm expressed her excitement in a statement, saying that “these advances in enhanced geothermal systems will bring the vast potential of geothermal energy to places where it was once thought to be impossible.” By unlocking the power of the heat beneath our feet, these pilot projects have the potential to provide clean, renewable energy to millions of Americans.
According to the Department of Energy’s projections, by 2050, geothermal energy could produce an impressive 90 gigawatts in the United States, a significant increase from the current 3.7 gigawatts. The secret to unlocking this potential lies in Enhanced Geothermal Systems, which use underground reservoirs to transport heat from the Earth to the surface.
To further advance the implementation of Enhanced Geothermal Systems, the Department of Energy has launched a program called “Enhanced Geothermal Shot” with the ambitious goal of reducing the cost by 90% to just $45 per megawatt-hour by 2035.
The Department of Energy is now accepting applications for the EGS Pilot Demonstrations in multiple rounds, with letters of intent due on March 8 and first-round applications due on July 7. This funding opportunity aligns with the Biden administration’s objective of producing 100% carbon-free power by 2035, as it offers a clean and affordable energy option that could help reach this goal.