More Money for Geothermal Fracking
Posted at 10:06 a.m. on Aug. 7, 2014
(Capture from Energy Department animation)
The Energy Department will provide $18 million for 32 advanced geothermal research projects, it announced Wednesday.
The department will provide $10 million for 12 projects focused on enhanced geothermal systems – the process of using hydrofracturing techniques or other methods to create deep underground reservoirs in rock heated by the earth. The department also announced $4 million in funding to develop advanced liquid technology for capturing heat from rock to generate electricity as well as collecting valuable minerals like lithium from the geothermal brine brought to the surface.
“Investments in leading-edge geothermal technologies are diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio today and could help power our low-carbon future tomorrow,” said Doug Hollett, director of the department’s Geothermal Technologies Office. “The projects announced today aim to spur the development of cost-competitive geothermal energy and help provide U.S. manufacturers with the critical materials they need to build clean energy technologies right here in the United States.”
The department is also providing $4 million to map the locations where heat and rock conditions provide the most economic potential for geothermal development.
The funding follows the department’s creation of a laboratory to study geothermal fracking techniques and a push for improved fracking technology. The recent efforts to improve geothermal fracking are not unprecedented — former Energy Secreatary Steven Chu announced $338 million in Recovery Act funding for advance geothermal research in 2009.