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News » US » Funding targets advances in geothermal drilling » published 24 Apr 2018

Funding targets advances in geothermal drilling

Up to US$14.5m is being made available by the US Department of Energy to advance developments in drilling technologies for geothermal energy.

US geothermal resource map (source US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy) Above: US geothermal resource map (source US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy)

The Efficient Drilling for Geothermal Energy (Edge) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will focus on drilling in support of accelerating the research and development of innovative geothermal energy technologies in America.

“Advancing research in geothermal drilling technologies will help harness the heat beneath our feet to expand our domestic energy resources,” said Daniel Simmons, principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “Geothermal is a reliable, baseload renewable energy source with firm and flexible operation, allowing it to provide a range of essential services that contribute to our nation’s grid stability and resiliency.”

The US currently has an installed geothermal capacity of more than 3.8GW, with an estimated 100GW or more of additional potential geothermal development accessible in undiscovered hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems. Technological innovation is necessary to convert the resources economically into cost-effective energy services. DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) supports early-stage research and development (R&D) to achieve these necessary technological breakthroughs.

The EDGE FOA aims to cover three topic areas:

early-stage R&D projects to reduce common delays in drilling operations like lost circulation, stuck pipes, unstable wellbores, and other issues that take time away from deepening the hole, typically referred to as non-drilling time;

early-stage R&D projects in innovative drilling technologies that improve the rates of penetration for drilling geothermal wells;

exploring innovative approaches and models to accelerate the transfer of geothermal drilling and related technologies from the laboratory into the real world, by focusing on building partnerships that will increase adoption of nascent technology and improve knowledge transfer in the geothermal industry.

The application process will include two phases: concept papers, then full applications.

 

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This article was published on 24 Apr 2018 (last updated on 24 Apr 2018).

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