SPE News

DOE Awards SPE and Consortium Partners $165 Million Grant To Advance Geothermal

The consortium will leverage the oil and gas industry's 100+ years of experience and technological developments in drilling and subsurface engineering to advance geothermal.

A rendering of a closed-looped geothermal system in which hot water and steam are extracted from the earth naturally, which turn a turbine to generate electricity, before reinjecting the fluid back into the earth to complete the cycle.
Source: US DOE Geothermal Technologies Office

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $165 million "Geothermal Energy from Oil and Gas Demonstrated Engineering" (GEODE) grant to a consortium formed by Project Innerspace, Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE), and Geothermal Rising (GR).

The cross-industry collaboration formed by the consortium will engage with oil and gas experts, geothermal startups, and other stakeholders to build consensus around strategies and opportunities for geothermal innovation.

The consortium will leverage the oil and gas industry's 100+ years of experience and technological developments in drilling and subsurface engineering to address and overcome challenges currently constraining geothermal development.

The grant will provide $10 million in the first year, which will fund the consortium members, in collaboration with more than 100 partner entities, to develop a roadmap to accelerate geothermal energy's growth and development. From the second year onward, the DOE will provide up to $155 million in additional funds to finance execution of the plan.

“We look forward to advancing our collective vision for the role geothermal will play in the future of energy through this powerful partnership,” said Jamie Beard, founder and executive director, Project Innerspace. “This is the geothermal decade. By 2030, with focused concerted action, we can catalyze geothermal into exponential growth. The key to achieving this is building consensus and forging forward-looking collaborations between the oil and gas and geothermal industries, and we will get that work done through this partnership. All hands on deck.”

Over the next 5 years, the consortium will address four key facets: technology transfer, demonstration and deployment, barriers to expansion, and workforce adoption. Within those facets, the consortium will focus on a variety of pain points constraining geothermal growth, including research and development gaps and roadmapping, stakeholder engagement, funding for keystone projects, and consensus building among ecosystem stakeholders.

“It is exciting for Geothermal Rising and its expansive membership to play a role in convening communities who, working together, hold the solution to our climate crisis through heat and electricity decarbonization,” said Bryant Jones, executive director of GR. “We really can use the earth to save the Earth if we work together to make it happen.”

Accomplishing these goals will significantly contribute to achieving the cost targets outlined in the DOE's recently announced geothermal EarthShot, bringing down the costs of enhanced geothermal systems by 90%. The consortium's ultimate objective is to place geothermal into its proper and central role as the "go-to" secure, reliable, safe, and clean energy source of the future.

“Geothermal provides oil and gas professionals an opportunity to leverage our collective expertise and resources to drive sustainable growth in the energy sector," said John Boden of SPE. "We believe that geothermal energy has the potential to become a key part of the global energy mix, and the oil and gas industry has significant contributions it can make toward achieving that goal. We are excited to be part of this groundbreaking collaboration."