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

2000, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

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2000, Utah Geological Survey

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1974, Bureau of Economic Geology
Geothermal energy is rapidly becoming recognized, both in the United States and abroad, as a viable source of energy which can supplement fossil fuels for electric power generation. Exploration and development of geothermal reservoirs is intensifying in the western United States and Mexico, and...
2003, Indiana Geological and Water Survey
During the late 1960s and continuing through the early 1970s, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) sponsored a project entitled "Geothermal Survey of North America." The aim of this project was to collect temperature information from deep boreholes (predominantly oil...
1983, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

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2013, Arizona Geological Survey

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1988, Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

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1981, Colorado Geological Survey
Geothermal assessment of Ouray, Colorado. Digital PDF download. RS-15D
1982, Colorado Geological Survey
Geothermal resource assessment of Hartsel Springs, Colorado. 86 pages. Digital PDF download. RS-18D
1985, Wyoming State Geological Survey

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