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New bipartisan superhot rock energy legislation advances out of committee, marking important step toward deployment

June 13, 2024 Work Area: Superhot Rock Energy

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology advanced the bipartisan Supercritical Geothermal Research and Development Act, which would enable research and development of superhot rock energy (SHR), a clean firm energy source with the potential to transform our global energy system. The legislation was spearheaded by Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Representative Andrea Salinas (D-OR). 

“Superhot rock energy could provide affordable, always-available, clean, firm electricity,” said Terra Rogers, Director for Superhot Rock Energy at Clean Air Task Force. “This legislation will have tremendous impact on our ability to tap into that potential. For too long, next-generation geothermal technologies like superhot rock energy have been underfunded. Now, we’re one step closer to tapping into the heat beneath our feet. If signed into law, the research and development investments in this bill will enable innovations and learnings to advance the entire field of next-generation geothermal. As energy demand and the urgency to decarbonize the energy system increases, superhot rock energy can play a critical role. We appreciate Chairman Lucas and Rep. Salinas’ commitment to advancing superhot rock energy and look forward to working with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to get this bill across the finish line.” 

Key provisions of the Supercritical Geothermal Research and Development Act include: 

  • Investment in research and development for enhanced and closed loop geothermal systems operating in supercritical conditions, which could advance the entire field of next-generation geothermal. 
  • Creation of a Superhot FORGE testing site where SHR companies can test and validate new technologies in real-world conditions. 
  • Establishment of a research and development program within the Geothermal Technologies Offices dedicated to SHR, which would provide the agency with resources to engage more deeply on SHR.  

The U.S. has fewer than 4 gigawatts of installed geothermal energy, and almost all of it is conventional geothermal energy that draws on rare, shallow reservoirs of heat. CATF’s first-of-a-kind heat modeling found that just 1% of the United States’ superhot rock energy potential could produce 4.3 terawatts of clean firm power – over 1,000 times the current installed geothermal capacity. Moreover, CATF’s research has identified strong support for geothermal energy domestically and a significant opportunity to educate the public about the energy source. 

CATF also recently commissioned a report series, “Bridging the Gaps,” which analyzes the methods, challenges, and pathways forward to advance superhot rock for heat extraction, power production, and drilling.Many of the gaps identified in these reports can be overcome by the investments included in this legislation. The series can be found here

Presse Kontakt

Samantha Sadowski, Kommunikationsmanagerin, USA, ssadowski@catf.us, +1 202-440-1717

Über Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With more than 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.

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