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

2018, United States Geological Survey
The volcanic processes that have shaped the Long Valley Caldera in eastern California have also created an abundant supply of natural hot water. This natural resource provides benefits to many users, including power generation at the Casa Diablo Geothermal Plant, warm water for a state fish...
2017, United States Geological Survey

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2017, United States Geological Survey

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2016, United States Geological Survey
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed an assessment of the mineral-resource potential of nearly 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The assessment of these lands, identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas, was done at the...
2016, United States Geological Survey
The renewable energy sector is rapidly expanding and diversifying the power supply of the country. Yet, as our Nation works to advance renewable energy and to conserve wildlife, some conflicts arise. To address these challenges, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting innovative research...
2016, United States Geological Survey
At least 170 volcanoes in 12 States and 2 territories have erupted in the past 12,000 years and have the potential to erupt again. Consequences of eruptions from U.S. volcanoes can extend far beyond the volcanoâEuro TMs immediate area. Many aspects of our daily life are vulnerable to...
2016, Wyoming State Geological Survey

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2016, Wyoming State Geological Survey

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2016, Wyoming State Geological Survey

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2016, United States Geological Survey

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