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US Department of Energy launches initiative aimed at reducing geothermal costs

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new initiative to cut the cost of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) by 90% to $45 per megawatt hour by 2035. The “Enhanced Geothermal Shot” is part of the Biden Administration’s initiative to deliver net-zero emissions across the US economy by 2050.

“The United States has a vast, geothermal energy resource lying right beneath our feet, and this program will make it economical to bring that power to American households and businesses,” said US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “DOE’s Enhanced Geothermal Shot will move geothermal technology from research and development to cost-effective commercial adoption, helping energy communities and workers transition to producing clean energy for the future.”

As part of the initiative, the DOE is investing in research and development projects. Recent investments include $44 million to help spur EGS innovations for DOE’s Frontier Observatory for Geothermal Energy Research (FORGE) field laboratory and up to $165 million to transfer best practices from oil and gas to advance both EGS and conventional geothermal. The recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also supports work to advance EGS with $84 million in funding to support four pilot EGS demonstration projects that the DOE said will “provide valuable information about EGS in different geographies and geologies.”

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