Logo for the DOE Enhanced Geothermal Earthshot.

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 human-made reservoirs to access energy that was previously stuck below ground, can unlock these resources and put new, clean, dispatchable electricity on the grid.

90% reduction by 2035.

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 65 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. 

View our fact sheet or watch the video below to learn more about the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ plans to drive down costs and address key challenges.

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Enhanced geothermal systems have the potential to power over 65 million American homes. In this animation, learn how the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office is advancing this emerging technology.
U.S. Department of Energy

The Roadmap for the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™

At the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ Summit, the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) introduced a roadmap of five technical pathways to help make the vision of the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ a reality:

  • Predicting the Subsurface with Greater Precision 
  • Seeing the Subsurface with Greater Precision: New Sensing Technologies for Stress, Strain, & Fracture Mapping 
  • Accessing the Subsurface: Improving Drilling Efficiency and Drilling in Extreme Environs 
  • Designing and Building Wells 
  • Manipulating and Creating Durable Reservoirs: Controlling Fluid Flow and Developing Innovative Stimulation Methods 

View the presentation introducing this roadmap.

GTO is eager for stakeholder feedback on the plans for achieving this Earthshot. If you have any thoughts to share about this roadmap, please email GTO at EGShotRoadmap@ee.doe.gov

Enhanced Geothermal Shot Postcard image