The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office’s (GTO) Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Multi-Year Program Plan provides a high-level technology plan that will plan for key areas of GTO research to support the growth and long-term contribution of geothermal energy to the U.S. electricity grid and American homes and buildings.
Geothermal energy—the “heat beneath our feet”—is a firm, flexible source of clean, secure, and reliable domestic energy that can be utilized across industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. Geothermal energy offers important benefits to the nation, including grid stability, greater diversity of affordable energy options, efficient heating and cooling, key technology and workforce pathways from oil and gas to renewable geothermal development, and lower carbon emissions to help transition Americans to a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero emission economy by 2050, while ensuring the clean energy economy benefits all Americans.
The GTO Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), building on the findings of the GeoVision analysis, outlines a 5-year plan of activities GTO will pursue to support the growth and long-term contribution of geothermal energy to the U.S. electricity grid and American homes and buildings.
The MYPP outlines GTO’s vision and mission and presents a high-level technology plan for key areas of GTO research starting in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and running through the end of FY 2026. This research plan supports GTO’s contributions toward the opportunities outlined in the GeoVision analysis.
GTO considers the key findings of the GeoVision analysis to be clear evidence of geothermal energy’s role as a critical enabling technology in the nation’s aggressive, zero-carbon energy transformation. Thus, GTO has adopted the following Strategic Goals to reach geothermal energy’s full potential:
- Strategic Goal 1: Drive toward a carbon-free electricity grid by supplying 60 gigawatts (GW) of EGS and hydrothermal resource deployment by 2050.
- Strategic Goal 2: Decarbonize building heating and cooling loads by capturing the economic potential for 17,500 GDH installations and by installing GHPs in 28 million households nationwide by 2050.
- Strategic Goal 3: Deliver economic, environmental, and social justice advancements through increased geothermal technology deployment.
The Opportunities for Geothermal Energy
Geothermal Technologies Office Technology Plan
GTO takes an active approach to consistently assessing program activities and effectiveness. GTO’s program evaluation activities ensure progress toward DOE, EERE, and GTO goals, while also ensuring effective stewardship of DOE investments and taxpayer dollars. GTO engages in informal and ongoing program evaluation through staff meetings, project check-in calls, brainstorming discussions, and other activities. In addition, GTO adheres to EERE guidelines for formal evaluations. These EERE guidelines are founded in two key objectives:
- To assess whether planned technical goals were met and commercialization and market results achieved
- To identify opportunities to make continuous improvements in programs in order to effectively and efficiently manage public investments.
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