The Newberry Volcano near Bend, Oregon is one of five active Energy Department EGS demonstration projects nationwide.
The Geothermal Technologies Office actively pursues Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) R&D and demonstration projects to facilitate technology validation and deployment, reduce cost, and improve performance. While achieving cost-competitive electricity generation from EGS is a long-term goal, in the near-term, R&D and demonstration projects will move industry along the learning curve toward technological readiness.
What are Enhanced Geothermal Systems?
EGS are engineered reservoirs created to produce energy from geothermal resources that are otherwise not economical due to lack of water and/or permeability. EGS technology has the potential for accessing the earth's vast resources of heat located at depth to help meet the energy needs of the United States.
Learn the basics in our Enhanced Geothermal Systems fact sheet or watch our animations:
- How an Enhanced Geothermal System Works animations - Provides an overview of EGS and illustrates how an EGS works.
- EGS - Enhanced Geothermal Systems animation illustrates the steps in the EGS process and presents the benefits of EGS development. This animation is on display at The Geysers Geothermal Visitor Center in Middletown, California.*
Research and Development Priorities
Critical technologies which are the focus of R&D solicitations include:
- FORGE Laboratory
- High temperature logging tools and sensors
- Zonal isolation
- Smart tracers
- Coupled models to predict reservoir development and performance
- Advanced drilling systems
- Well stimulation technologies
- Advanced fracture characterization technologies
- Induced seismic monitoring, prediction and mitigation tools
The economic viability of EGS depends on developing and improving enabling technologies. While these technologies are vital to the success of EGS, they also apply across the geothermal continuum.
*This EGS animation is a Calpine Corporation and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collaborative project co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It was produced by Baker Hughes in 2012.