April 25 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Energy (DoE) will provide up to USD 14.5 million (EUR 11.9m) in funding to support research in geothermal drilling technologies.
The funding opportunity, announced on Monday, covers three topic areas. One is focused on early-stage research and development (R&D) projects to reduce delays in drilling operations, usually called non-drilling time. The second is focused on early-stage R&D in drilling technologies that improve the rates of penetration for drilling geothermal wells. The third seeks to explore innovative approaches to accelerate the real-world adoption of new geothermal drilling and related technologies. Concept papers are due by May 31, 2018.
The current installed geothermal capacity in the US is over 3.8 GW. The additional potential geothermal development accessible in undiscovered hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems is estimated at 100 GW or more, but technological innovation is needed to turn these resources into cost-effective energy, the department said.
"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," said Daniel Simmons, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.821)