Geothermal Energy

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Geothermal energy is harvested by drilling into underground reservoirs of steam or water heated by the Earth. While western states like California and Nevada lead the country in geothermal energy production, emerging technologies may make it possible to extract geothermal energy throughout the United States.

Basics

A geothermal plant in Iceland. Image Copyright © Bruce Molnia, Terra Photographics. http://www.earthscienceworld.org/images

Geothermal energy comes from the heat of the Earth’s interior. Reservoirs of steam or hot water with temperatures higher than about 225°F can generate electricity,[1] while lower-temperature geothermal fluids are often used directly for heating and other applications.[2] In western states like California and Nevada, hot rocks beneath the Earth’s surface create shallow hot water reservoirs. Scientists are developing enhanced geothermal systems to extract heat from hot, dry rocks in order to produce electricity.   Read more

Latest News

Interactive map of geothermal resources in the United States. Image Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(2016-10-05)
#MapOfTheDay! Today the Critical Issues Program (@AGI_GeoIssues) shared Geothermal Prospector, an interactive map of geothermal resources in the U.S. from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (@NREL), which you can find at http://bit.ly/2dlOJL9. For additional resources, check out the Critical...
Interactive map of thermal springs in the U.S. Image Credit: NOAA
(2016-09-30)
#MapOfTheDay! Today the Critical Issues Program (@AGI_GeoIssues) shared an interactive map of thermal springs throughout the U.S. from the National Centers for Environmental Information at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (@NOAA). Access the map here.
Map of U.S. Geothermal Power Capacity. Image Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(2016-09-28)
#MapOfTheDay! Today the Critical Issues Program (@AGI_GeoIssues) shared a map of geothermal power generation capacity in each U.S. state from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (@NREL), which you can find at http://bit.ly/1BnlUkJ. If you're interested in learning more about the cutting edge...
Interactive map of Nevada geothermal resources and infrastructure. Image Credit: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
(2016-09-20)
#MapOfTheDay! Today the Critical Issues Program (@AGI_GeoIssues) shared an interactive map of geothermal resources and infrastructure from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, which you can find at http://bit.ly/1xmR0Jp. If you're interested in geothermal energy, check out our Geothermal Energy...
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
(2016-07-28)
July 13, 2016 The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to discuss the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (H.R.2663), a bipartisan bill with 67 cosponsors that was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in 2015. If enacted, H.R.2663 would...
(2016-06-09)
AGI's Geoscience Policy Program published the May 2016 Summary of federal-level legislation impacting the geoscience community. This includes continuing appropriations discussions in both the House and Senate for funding in FY 2017 for agencies that employ geoscientists, studying geoscience...
IES Water Glyph
(2016-06-09)
May 24, 2016 The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $4 million to 4 research and development (R&D) projects at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Washington, the University of Utah, and the University of Wyoming. The 4...
U.S. Capitol
(2016-03-23)
March 16, 2016 The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) held a briefing on the state of geothermal energy on both national and global scales. The speakers were Sakari Oksanen of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Meseret Zemedkun of the...
U.S. Capitol
(2016-02-02)
January 29, 2016 Last week the Senate began debate on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, the first major package of energy legislation considered in Congress since 2005. Introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the bill has received bipartisan support, passing out of committee with an...

Geological Surveys Database Publications

1973, Colorado Geological Survey
Colorado has approximately 10% of the total U.S. coal resources. These resources occur in eight coal regions and 20 coal fields that occupy about 28% of the total area of the state. Most of the coal is of Upper Cretaceous age but some is of much younger Paleocene and Eocene age. The higher rank...
1976, Colorado Geological Survey
Summary of coal resources in Colorado. 17 pages. Digital PDF download. SP-09D
1980, Colorado Geological Survey
1979 summary of coal resources in Colorado. 24 pages. Digital PDF download. SP-13D
1983, Colorado Geological Survey
1981 summary of coal resources in Colorado. 22 pages. Digital PDF download. SP-23D
1986, Washington Geological Survey

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1990, Colorado Geological Survey
Includes location, rank, analyses, geology, formation, structure, production, and resources in the 8 regions and 21 fields; stratigraphic column for each coal field. 33 pages. 28 figures. 7 tables. Digital PDF download. SP-36D
1996, Colorado Geological Survey
Analysis of the Colorado coal industry. 135 pages. Digital PDF download. SP-24D
2009, Indiana Geological and Water Survey
On July 14 and 15, 2009, the Geoscience Data Preservation Techniques Workshop was held on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and it was hosted by the Indiana...
2011, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

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2015, United States Geological Survey
Elevation data are essential to a broad range of applications, including forest resources management, wildlife and habitat management, national security, recreation, and many others. For the State of Nevada, elevation data are critical for infrastructure and construction management, natural...