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DOE announces investment in renewable geothermal energy, including support for superhot rock energy

February 22, 2024 Work Area: Superhot Rock Energy

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of three pilot projects that will receive up to $60 million to demonstrate the ability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) — including innovative superhot rock geothermal energy — to help power the U.S. economy with round-the-clock clean energy.  

“This announcement is a critical first step to unlocking vast amounts of clean, renewable energy beneath our feet,” said Terra Rogers, Program Director for Superhot Rock Energy at Clean Air Task Force (CATF). “We commend DOE not only for investing in the promise of geothermal power but also for investing in a diverse set of technologies, that could make geothermal energy accessible across the country.” 

Companies receiving funding include Fervo Energy, Chevron New Energies, and Mazama Energy. These three projects are the first round of selections under the EGS Pilot Demonstrations funding program from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Geothermal energy harnesses the natural heat stored beneath the Earth’s surface. While this underground heat exists everywhere, at varying depths, traditional geothermal facilities require the existence of water and pathways in which the hot water can circulate – similar to a car radiator. These naturally occurring reservoirs of hot water are relatively rare; next-generation techniques such as EGS allow developers to harness the heat of the earth without being restricted to pockets of hot water, ultimately enabling geothermal operators to tap this inexhaustible resource to its fullest potential. 

Rogers continued: 

“The energy potential of EGS becomes greater as you access hotter temperatures. Superhot rock energy (including superhot EGS), which operates at temperatures above >400C, could produce an estimated 5-10x the energy of conventional geothermal systems – giving it the potential to be competitive with today’s costs for power globally. By funding superhot rock pilot projects, DOE is helping to answer important questions about operating at these temperatures and pushing the boundaries of what EGS can do.” 

CATF is a source of expert information on superhot rock geothermal energy developments for the public, regional and local governments, community-based organizations, and industry stakeholders.

Learn more about CATF’s work on Superhot Rock Energy.

Contatto con la stampa

Steve Reyes, responsabile delle comunicazioni, [email protected], +1 562-916-6463

Circa 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 and follow @cleanaircatf.

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