The Enhanced Geothermal Shot is an initiative to help usher in a clean energy future by bringing enhanced geothermal systems to Americans nationwide. It is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Earthshots Initiative to tackle key remaining technical challenges to reaching U.S. climate goals while creating jobs and economic opportunities for U.S. communities.
Only a small portion of the geothermal energy—the “heat beneath our feet” —that exists in the United States is accessible with current technology. However, research and innovation to advance enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), which create humanmade reservoirs to access energy that was previously stuck below ground, can unlock these resources and put new, clean, dispatchable electricity on the grid.
The Enhanced Geothermal Shot is a department-wide effort to dramatically reduce the cost of EGS—by 90%, to $45 per megawatt hour by 2035. Investments in EGS can unlock affordable clean energy for over 40 million American homes and exponentially increase opportunities for geothermal heating and cooling solutions nationwide.
The geothermal industry has the potential to become a powerhouse of U.S. economic growth, with particular benefits for rural communities. In addition, the geothermal and oil and gas industries share many similarities, presenting an opportunity to transition a skilled workforce as well as best practices from fossil fuels to clean energy, and help communities historically impacted by fossil fuel production and use transition to clean energy.
Achieving the Enhanced Geothermal Shot will go a long way toward reaching President Biden’s goals of 100% carbon-pollution-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy by 2050.