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2021 U.S. Geothermal Power Production and District Heating Market Report

The 2021 U.S. Geothermal Power Production and District Heating Market Report identifies where the geothermal power sector is primed for technological innovation.

Published in July 2021, the report highlights significant opportunities for expanding power production through cutting-edge enhanced geothermal systems technology development; new power plant operational models such as energy hybridization and thermal energy storage; and harnessing vast co-production potential from existing oil and gas infrastructure. 

  • The 2021 U.S. Geothermal Market Report, published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and funded by the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), captures:
    • Domestic capacity and usage for geothermal power production and district heating and cooling 
    • Impacts of state and federal policies
    • Current research on geothermal development
    • Future opportunities for the domestic geothermal market and industry. 

Report Highlights:

  • From the end of 2015 through the end of 2019:
    • U.S. geothermal power capacity increased slightly from 3.627 GW to 3.673 GW. 
    • The United States brought seven new geothermal power plants online, adding 186 MW of nameplate capacity. 
    • Eleven plants were retired or classified as non-operational, subtracting 103 MW of nameplate capacity.
  • Since late 2019, nine new geothermal Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)1 have been signed across four states. Included in these agreements are plans for the first two geothermal power plants to be built in California in a decade. 
  • Geothermal companies operating in the United States have a combined 58 active developing projects and prospects across nine states. Of these projects, five are in Phase 4, the phase immediately preceding project completion. 
  • There are 23 geothermal district heating (GDH) systems in the United States. The oldest installation dates from 1892 (Boise, Idaho), and the most recent installation was completed in 2017 (Alturas, California). 
  • U.S. GDH systems tend to be smaller in size (average of 4 MWth) than European GDH systems (continent-wide average of ~17 MWth) and orders of magnitude smaller than the average GDH system in China (~1,000 MWth).
  • Read the full report.

The market report is part of GTO’s Data, Modeling, and Analysis activities. Learn more about other similar efforts in the Geothermal Technologies Office and GTO Priorities.

Dive Deeper: Read GTO’s 2008 Geothermal Market Report.

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As of February 2022, there are 11 new PPAs, which includes the two additional PPAs signed after the Market Report publication in July 2021.