DOE Project Partner AltaRock Energy drills for geothermal energy at the Newberry Volcano EGS Demonstration site, near Bend, Oregon.
This technical paper outlines opportunities for advancing EGS technologies on five- to 20-year timescales. Realization of EGS development would make geothermal a significant contender in the renewable energy portfolio, on the order of 100+ GWe in the United States alone. While up to 90% of the geothermal power resource in the United States is thought to reside in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), hurdles to commercial development still remain. The Geothermal Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), began in 2011 to outline the underlying technology needs that will guide research and ultimately determine commercial success for EGS. This report traces DOE's research investments, past and present, and ties them to these technology needs, forming the basis for an EGS Technology Roadmap to help guide future DOE research.