Geothermal -- The Energy Under Our Feet: Geothermal Resources ...
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Geothermal -- The Energy Under Our Feet: Geothermal Resources ...

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A national laboratory of the U.S. Departmenntt ooff EEnneerrggyy
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewaabbllee EEnneerrggyy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Innovation for Our Energy Future
Technical ReportGeothermal—
NREL/TP-840-40665
The Energy Under Our Feet November 2006
Geothermal Resource Estimates for the
United States
Bruce D. Green and R. Gerald Nix,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL is operated by Midwest Research Institute • Battelle Contract No. DE-AC36-99-GO10337
 Technical ReportGeothermal—
NREL/TP-840-40665
The Energy Under Our Feet November 2006
Geothermal Resource Estimates for the
United States
Bruce D. Green and R. Gerald Nix,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
1617 Cole Boulevard, Golden, Colorado 80401-3393
303-275-3000 • www.nrel.gov
Operated for the U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
by Midwest Research Institute • Battelle
Contract No. DE-AC36-99-GO10337 Executive Summary
he Earth houses a vast energy supply or application: (1) Hydrothermal, (2) Deep
in the form of geothermal resources. Geothermal Systems, (3) Direct Use, T Domestic resources are equivalent (4) Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs),
to a 30,000-year energy supply at our and (5) Co-Produced and Geopressured.
current rate for the United States! In
Geothermal resources are categorized in fact, geothermal energy is used in all 50
several layers of accessibility and ...

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A national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy Office o National Renewable Energy Laboratoryf Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Innovation for Our Energy Future
Geothermal— The Energy Under Our Feet Geothermal Resource Estimates for the United States
Bruce D. Green and R. Gerald Nix, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL is operated by Midwest Research Institute • Battelle Contract No. DE-AC36-99-GO10337
Technical Report NREL/TP-840-40665 November 2006
Geothermal— The Energy Under Our Feet Geothermal Resource Estimates for the United States
Bruce D. Green and R. Gerald Nix, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory 1617 Cole Boulevard, Golden, Colorado 80401-3393 303-275-3000 • www.nrel.gov Operated for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by Midwest Research Institute • Battelle Contract No. DE-AC36-99-GO10337
Technical Report NREL/TP-840-40665 November 2006
Executive Summary
Toh htraE eht eh ynipulpygs enerast  a vusesrmheotGep ee D2) )3( ,smetsyS la se, ct UDirel masoreceur s.rof f or omoeg rehtion: (1)applicatream,l( H dyorht Domestic resources areequivalent(4) Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs), to a 30,000-year energy supply at ourand (5) Co-Produced and Geopressured. current rate for the United States! In fact, geothermal energy is used in all 50 Gevoetrahlelramyaelr sr eosfo aucrcceess sairbeil ictayt eagnodr ifzeeads iibni lity, U.S. states today. But geothermal energy sfreom b roadest criteria (i.e., total physicall has not reached its full potential as a clean, y secure energy alternative because of issues taevcahilnaibclael) ,a tnod  cerictoenrioa mtihca tc ionncsliuddereas tions. with resources, technology, historically low natural gas prices, and public policies. These The total resource base is scaled downward issues affect the economic competitiveness tcoa taecgcoersys icballel erde sdoeuvrecleo, paanbdl e rneaslolyu rtcoe  a  of geothermal energy (see p. 4 for explanation). On May 16, 2006, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, The table below shows estimates for the Colorado hosted a geothermal resources cdoiffmeprielnetd  gbeyo tthheer wmoarl krsehsooup recex pcearttesg. oTrihees,s ea s workshop with experts from the geothermalestimates show the enormous potential community. The purpose of the workshop was to re-examine domestic geothermalof the U. S. geothermal energy resource. lectric generation ates. The artic rweesroeu rocreg aesntiizmed into ve pworkiipnagt ignrgo uepxsp erts tNeecwh nloolwo-gtey mmpaeyr agtrueraet ley expand the based on their primary area of expertise in geothermal resources that can be developed the following types of geothermal resource economically today.
Findings by Resource Category
Estimated 2006 Accessible (Actual MWe) Resource (MWe)
Shallow Hydrothermal1 30,000 (Identified) >90˚C/194˚F
Shallow Hydrothermal1 120,000 (Unidentified) >150˚C/302˚F
Co-Produced & >100,000 Geopressured2
Deep Geothermal41,300,000 to 13,000,000 Thermal Uses(MWt) Direct Uses5>60,000
Geothermal Heat Pumps6>1,000,000
GHP6Avoided Power
120,000
2,800
23
0
(MWt) 620
7,385
880
Estimated Developable Resource* 2015 2025 2050 (MWe) (MWe) (MWe)
10,000
TBD
10,000 to 15,000
1000
(MWt) 1600
18,400
2,100
20,000
TBD
70,000
30,000
TBD
>100,000
10,000 130,000
(MWt) 4,200 45,000
66,400 >1,000,000
8,000 120,000
*Please note that these resource estimates represent a consensus of a group of experts who considered existing resource assessments (referenced on next page). There is considerable uncertainty in the estimates as many resources are hidden and exploration to date has been relatively limited. The figures shown above are not a resource assessment, but, even with uncertainty,is a very large and important domestic energy source.clearly show that the U.S. geothermal resource
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References 1.Assessment of Geothermal Resources of the United States – 1978, USGS Circular 790 (p. 41 and 157). Includes identified and unidentified resources; 2015 and later estimates are a consensus of the experts at the workshop. Estimated accessible figure includes identified (~30,000 MW) and unidentified (~120,000 MW) (i.e., hidden or showing no surface manifestations) hydrothermal resources. 2. “Geothermal Electric Power Supply Possible from Gulf Coast, Midcontinent Oil Field Waters,” Oil and Gas Journal,September 5, 2005, and SMU Geothermal LaboratoryGeothermal Energy Generation in Oil and Gas Settings Conference findings, March 13 – 14, 2006, and USGS Circular 790. 3. Based on Mafi Trench Unit on offshore platform now in operation. 4.Energy Recovery from Enhanced/Engineered Geothermal Systems(EGS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), September 2006. 5. OIT Geo-Heat Center, using analysis based on USGS Circulars 790 and 892. 6. Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, based on Energy Information Administration data and projections. The ‘avoided power’ figure represents the peak power not required or offset through use of GHPs. Thus, GHPs act as a proven demand and growth management option for utilities.
The geothermal heat pump working-group during their resource deliberations. John Geyer (l), Wael El-Sharif (c), and Jack DiEnna (r) made up this working group.
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Dr. Roy Mink, DOE Geothermal Technologies Program manager, making opening comments.
Introduction
É UåáíÉÇ SíaíÉë éçëëÉëëÉë îaëí ìåÇÉêÖêçìåÇ  Tëç ÉìÑääé íçåÉáíaä Üaë óÉí ÜëêÉíççÑë Éa ÜïÜí  íç ÄÉ êÉaäáòÉÇ .TÜÉ EaêíÜ ë áåíÉêáçê êÉaÅÜÉë  íÉãéÉêaíìêÉë ÖêÉaíÉê íÜaå4, 0°00C( >207,°0F) ,aåÇ  this geothermal energy flows continuously to the ëìêÑaÅÉ .TÜÉ ÉåÉêÖó ÅçåíÉåí çÑ ÇçãÉëíáÅ ÖÉçíÜÉêãaä  êÉëçìêÅÉë íç a ÇÉéíÜ çÑ 3 âã (ú2 ãáäÉ )áë ÉëíáãaíÉÇ  íç ÄÉ 3 ãáääáçå èìaÇë ,ÉèìáîaäÉåí íç a 30,000-óÉaê ëìééäó çÑ ÉåÉêÖó aí çìê ÅìêêÉåí êaíÉ Ñçê íÜÉ UåáíÉÇ SíaíÉë!  ÉëaÄ ÉÅêìçëÉê êÉíáÉåÉ íÜÉ áäWÜ Åaååçí ÄÉ êÉÅçîÉêÉÇ ,íÜÉ êÉÅçîÉêó çÑ ÉîÉå a îÉêó  ëãaää éÉêÅÉåíaÖÉ çÑ íÜáë ÜÉaí ïçìäÇ ãaâÉ a äaêÖÉ  ÇáÑÑÉêÉåÅÉ íç íÜÉ åaíáçå ë ÉåÉêÖó ëìééäáÉë. NÉï äçï-íÉãéÉêaíìêÉ ÉäÉÅíêáÅ ÖÉåÉêaíáçå íÉÅÜåçäçÖó ãaó  ÖêÉaíäó ÉñéaåÇ íÜÉ ÖÉçíÜÉêãaä êÉëçìêÅÉë íÜaí Åaå ÄÉ  ÇÉîÉäçéÉÇ ÉÅçåçãáÅaääó íçÇaó.
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Figure 1. U.S. Energy and Geothermal Resources Note: U.S. Total Resource Base from Characterization of U.S. Energy Resources and Reserves, December 1989, U.S. Department of Energy, DOE/CE-0279. Data for “Estimated Accessible Geothermal Resource” and “Estimated Developable Resource” are from Table 4 of this report.
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