The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will invest up to $14.5 million in new funding to advance geothermal energy development, the DOE announced Tuesday.
The Efficient Drilling for Geothermal Energy (EDGE) funding will focus on geothermal drilling in support of accelerating the research and development (R&D) of innovative geothermal energy technologies in the country.
Daniel Simmons, principal deputy assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said that, "advancing research in geothermal drilling technologies will help harness the heat beneath to expand our domestic energy resources."
Out of the estimated 100 gigawatts (GW) potential geothermal capacity from undiscovered hydrothermal sources, the country currently has an installed geothermal capacity of more than 3.8 GW.
The funding aims to expand R&D in geothermal drilling by covering three topic areas:
- Topic Area 1 focuses on early-stage R&D projects to reduce common delays in drilling operations through lost circulation, stuck pipe and unstable wellbores.
- The second area focuses on innovative drilling technologies for early-stage R&D projects to improve the rates of penetration for drilling geothermal wells.
- The third Topic Area focuses on exploring innovative approaches and models to accelerate the transfer of geothermal drilling and related technologies from the laboratory into the real world.
By Gulsen Cagatay