Energy Department Offers $3 Million to Find New Geothermal Sources

Energy Department Offers $3 Million to Find New Geothermal Sources

The Energy Department on January 30 announced $3 million to spur geothermal energy development using “play fairway” analysis. This technique identifies prospective geothermal resources in areas with no obvious surface expression by mapping the most favorable intersections of heat, permeability, and fluid. While commonly used in oil and gas exploration, play fairway analysis is not yet widely used in the geothermal industry. By improving success rates for exploration drilling, this data-mapping tool could help attract investment in geothermal energy projects and significantly lower the costs of geothermal energy.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 30 gigawatts of undiscovered hydrothermal energy potential exist untapped beneath the Earth’s surface—nearly 10 times the current installed capacity of geothermal energy in the United States. One of the keys to tapping this clean resource is reducing the cost and risk of locating it. By quantifying and reducing the risk of exploratory drilling, play fairway analysis projects could unlock significant geothermal energy resources and accelerate industry-wide adoption of this tool.

The Energy Department will support one-year collaborative research and development projects, especially in new, unexplored areas, that adapt play fairway analysis to geothermal exploration. These projects will focus on using existing geologic and geophysical data to develop maps that identify areas with a higher probability of containing a geothermal resource. The research seeks to develop a methodology for exploration of geothermal resources in a particular region, or play. See the Energy Department press release.

Image info: Geothermal power plant in the Imperial Valley, California.

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The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.