Renewables

Energy Department to invest $3mn to locate geothermal resources

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The U.S. Department of Energy will invest $3 million to spur geothermal energy development using play fairway analysis. Play fairway analysis is commonly used in oil and gas exploration, but is not yet widely used in the geothermal industry.

According to the department, one of the keys to tapping geothermal power is reducing the cost and risk of locating it. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 30 GW of undiscovered hydrothermal potential exist globally – nearly 10 times the current installed capacity of geothermal energy in the U.S.

The funds will be used to support one-year collaborative research and development projects that adapt play fairway analysis to geothermal exploration. According to the energy department, the 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, and the research seeks to develop a methodology for exploration of geothermal resources in a particular region.

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