Upcoming DOE Funding May Heat Geothermal Space

Most people think about solar and wind when considering renewable energy, but this power source may soon get a lot more attention from investors.

John Licata
John Licata
Apr 27, 2014 at 11:21AM
Energy, Materials, and Utilities

The Department of Energy deadline to submit the full application for an Integrated Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is April 30 at 5pm. That means awards up to $10 million, likely split among three winners, can be announced by the Fall. 

I'm interested to see the development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), a technology similar to fracking in that it requires injecting water into rock. My true concerns regarding geothermal power come from this similarity between geothermal and fracking. Therefore I'd like to see more studies into how the use of geothermal power may or may not result in an increased number of earthquakes or even upgrade the risk for contamination of the water supply. If these issues can be dealt with concretely or proven to be overblown, geothermal heat could have a place among the country's future energy mix. That would be great for industry giant Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA), which has geothermal projects in Nevada, Hawaii, California, and recently received big supply contracts in Indonesia.