The Drill Down – Geothermal Marches On

Estimated read time: 5 minutes 

Director’s Note: As we spring forward this season and anticipate the blooms and sunny days to come, we at the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) have new resources and upcoming opportunities to share with you.

We’ve released several new fact sheets and quick resources to help improve general understanding of geothermal’s potential and hurdles. Check out (and share!) these resources to learn more about what geothermal energy is, how geothermal heat pumps work, and ways to help geothermal overcome non-technical and market value barriers.

We’re excited to share a first for GTO: two Spanish-language news outlets recently featured interviews with GTO staff! We’re so glad that we could support Conexión con el Tiempo at The Weather Channel and Telemundo 48 in sharing about geothermal with their audiences.

Lastly, GTO is hosting its next quarterly webinar on April 20 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Join us to hear from my colleagues and me about the hottest updates on GTO projects, and stay for the Q&A session. Register today!

Here in Washington, D.C., I’ll be enjoying the beautiful cherry blossoms in my free time—I encourage you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air this spring with loved ones or furry friends!

Lauren Boyd
GTO Acting Office Director

P.S. Know a recent graduate who could be interested in a general engineer/physical scientist role in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pathways Recent Graduate Program? Share this job opening so they can apply before the application period closes tomorrow, March 16.  

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GTO's Latest

GTO Awards $25,000 to EnergyTech University Prize Student Team

Congratulations to the student team from the University of Maryland for being selected as the EnergyTech University Prize Geothermal Technology Bonus Prize Winner! GTO awarded the team $25,000 for their entry, which uses a horizontal closed-loop heat exchange cooling system to efficiently cool cows. 😎🐄

Dig into Geothermal Data for the 2023 SPE Datathon

Join the 2023 Geothermal Datathon organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers' (SPE) Data Science and Engineering Analytics Technical Section! The Datathon, kicking off on April 3, challenges participants to solve a geothermal engineering problem using real field data from GTO. Participants will use machine learning to create predictive models, using one of the largest geothermal datasets assembled—including never-before-analyzed data. Register by March 31.

New Geothermal Materials, Hot Off the Press

GTO is thrilled to announce that we’ve created two friendly new fact sheets. Behold the What is Geothermal Energy fact sheet for a general understanding of geothermal energy, and take things a step further by learning about Geothermal Heat Pumps, the systems that can heat and cool buildings throughout the United States. We hope you’ll dig into these newly minted materials, share with others, and help raise awareness that geothermal is a 50-state solution for providing flexible electricity and heating and cooling.

Overcoming Non-Technical Geothermal Deployment Barriers

Two GTO-funded projects have recently released analyses on non-technical barriers to geothermal deployment. First, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new fact sheet summarizing key findings and best practices to reduce project delays, drawn from the lab’s data and analysis of non-technical barriers to geothermal, particularly in California and Nevada. Second, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a paper detailing the lab’s analysis of price data from power purchase agreements and wholesale energy and capacity markets to understand geothermal’s relative value in the electricity sector and assess ways to improve that value to expand geothermal deployment.

We're Hiring

Calling all recent graduate students! Are you interested in joining the GTO team as an interdisciplinary general engineer/physical scientist? Then apply today! Submit your application before the application period closes tomorrow, March 16, to be considered for this position in the Pathways Recent Graduate Program.

Headlines Around DOE

Secretary Granholm Announces International Geothermal Working Group 

In early March, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm traveled to Croatia to co-host the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC), a multilateral partnership between the United States and Central and Eastern European countries. During the Ministerial, Secretary Granholm announced several measures DOE is taking with P-TECC nations, including forming and co-chairing a new P-TECC Geothermal Working Group with Croatia.

Biden Administration Kicks Off Billion-Dollar Program to Spur Clean Energy Innovation in Rural or Remote Communities

Check out the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas program—a billion-dollar initiative to improve energy infrastructure in communities with 10,000 or fewer people. To spur clean energy innovation in rural or remote communities across the nation, DOE unleashed $300M in funding for community-driven energy projects and opened a $15M prize competition to improve energy systems in these communities.

RFPs Open for DOE’s Clean Energy to Communities In-Depth Partnerships

The Clean Energy to Communities (C2C) program is seeking 4–5 communities for in-depth technical partnerships that will help address challenges to achieving clean energy ambitions. NREL and other national labs will help selected communities plan secure, reliable, resilient, and affordable energy systems that align with their local and regional priorities. Learn more and access the Requests for Proposals (RFPs), due May 17. 

In Case You Missed It

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $74 Million for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Pilot Demonstrations

In order to demonstrate the efficacy and scalability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), GTO released a funding opportunity of up to $74 million for several pilot demonstration projects that will use innovative technology and a variety of development techniques to capture Earth’s abundant heat resources in diverse geologic settings. First-round letters of intent were due March 8, 2023; first-round applications will be due June 16, 2023. Read our Funding Notice page for a breakdown of key requirements, or download our Quick Guide for tips on putting together your application.

Looking Ahead

GTO Quarterly Webinar | April 20, 1:30 p.m. ET

Hear about GTO’s latest funding opportunities and project developments and participate in Q&A with GTO leadership. You are encouraged to submit questions to prior to the webinar. Register to attend.