Energy sources originating from beneath the Earth’s surface satisfy over 80% of total U.S. energy needs. Finding and effectively utilizing these resources while mitigating impacts of their use constitute major technical and socio-political challenges and opportunities. The DOE has an economic, safety, and energy security imperative to advance our understanding and effective use of the subsurface.
The Subsurface Science, Technology and Engineering Research, and Development (SubTER) Crosscut is a collaboration across the Department of Energy (DOE) offices involved in research activities in energy production/extraction, subsurface storage, and environmental remediation.
Meeting current and future energy challenges requires significant advances to ensure safe, sustainable, and affordable access to natural resources and storage in the subsurface. SubTER will improve access to subsurface resources and accelerate dynamic management of the subsurface by:
- Identifying subsurface challenges and advancing solutions;
- Facilitating both intra-departmental and interagency collaboration of cross-cutting subsurface R&D activities; and
- Engaging industry stakeholders operating in the subsurface.
Representing the geosciences, research, modeling, technology, development, policy, and stakeholders, the participating DOE program and staff offices include:
SubTER will permit the delivery of safe, renewable, secure, and abundant domestic energy opportunities. To achieve these goals, SubTER specifically addresses four core research areas that represent the most fertile ground for emerging subsurface energy technologies:
- Wellbore integrity and drilling technologies;
- Subsurface stress and induced seismicity;
- Permeability manipulation; and
- New subsurface signals.
- Double reservoir effectiveness (recovery factor) with a smaller footprint
- More than double electricity from U.S. geothermal reservoirs
- Safely sequester CO2 on large scale
- Establish feasibility of deep borehole disposal
- Protect public safety and the environment