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DOE Announces $20 Million to Lower Costs of Geothermal Drilling

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $20 million in funding to lower the cost of developing geothermal energy by demonstrating faster drilling technologies to shorten the time it takes to develop projects overall. DOE is looking to dramatically lower the cost of geothermal drilling—which can exceed 50% of a project's total costs. Projects selected for drilling demonstrations will spur further investment in geothermal energy, which can be a critical source of zero-carbon energy that's available around the clock year-round. This initiative advances President Biden's goals to support fossil energy communities that are building upon their existing energy infrastructure to drive innovation and economic growth in emerging zero-carbon industries.

"There is incredible, untapped potential to use the heat beneath our feet to meet our energy demands with a renewable source that can be found in all pockets of this country," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "Not only is the use of geothermal energy a significant asset for reaching a carbon-free grid by 2035, it can drive the creation of good paying jobs in energy communities as the country transitions to cleaner, more reliable energy sources." 

The Drilling Demos initiative, led by DOE's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), builds upon DOE advancements in geothermal drilling technologies that streamline drilling time and improve penetration rates in laboratory. Demonstrations within this latest initiative will accelerate the transfer of geothermal drilling advancements from the laboratory to the marketplace.  

WATCH

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power Alejandro Moreno explains the process for geothermal drilling and how the Drilling Demos initiative will streamline it.  

GTO seeks applications from drilling services providers, well service companies, research institutions, geothermal operators and developers, and other entities that can provide real-world, immediate solutions to address the goal of increasing the average daily drilling penetration rates for geothermal wells. Entities that control well access and operations—both commercial and government-funded—are encouraged to apply. Join GTO's Drilling Demos Teaming Partner List to connect with prospective team members.  

Letters of intent are due by April 4, and full applications are due June 3. Learn more about the Drilling Demos initiative.


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