The Drill Down – Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just Geothermal?

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Geothermal Technologies Office


February 23, 2022

drill down

The Drill Down – Is It Hot in Here oIIJust Geothermal? 

Estimated read time: 5 minutes 

Director’s Note: This month is heating up! The Drill Down is releasing a special edition dedicated to everything you need to know about the office’s Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP). I will be talking more about this at our quarterly webinar, which is now being held on March 7 at 3 p.m. ET.

Last week, the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) observed National Entrepreneurship Week, a week that celebrates the entrepreneurs who serve their communities and bolster the American economy. Read the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) blog about how we support energy entrepreneurs. I want to thank YOU, our geothermal entrepreneurs, for creating and scaling new geothermal technologies that will help us advance geothermal development and deployment. YOU help us grow our economy and create new clean energy jobs.  

                                                                                   —GTO Director Susan Hamm  

Riddle me this:What did the volcano say to their partner?  

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GTO’s Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP)

GTO is thrilled to announce the release of its MYPP, presenting a roadmap for accelerating the development of geothermal technology in the coming years, which can play a key role in reaching the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Read on for our announcement, a link to the full MYPP, and an in-depth discussion between Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm and GTO Director Hamm with their thoughts on its importance. 

GTO Releases Its Five-Year RD&D Plan


GTO’s new MYPP showcases the office’s vision and mission and presents a high-level technology plan to accelerate the advancement of geothermal technology for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 through FY 2026. The MYPP builds on the opportunities outlined in the GeoVision analysis, with three strategic goals that form the basis of GTO’s research portfolio: decarbonizing building heating and cooling loads, supplying 60 GW of enhanced geothermal systems and hydrothermal resource deployment by 2050, and delivering economic, environmental, and social justice advancements through increased geothermal technology deployment. Read the MYPP.

Secretary Granholm Sits Down With Director Hamm for a Geyser-Side Chat 

Watch GTO’s “geyser-side” chat where Secretary Granholm and GTO Director Hamm discuss the potential of geothermal, why they’re so excited about GTO’s new MYPP, the office’s priorities and recent achievements, and how this all relates to the administration’s goals. 

GTO Quarterly Webinar 

Join GTO on March 7 at 3 p.m. ET to hear Director Hamm and GTO leadership share office updates, news events, highlight ongoing programs, and hear more on the MYPP. Submit questions at and register to attend.



Geothermal Drilling Technology Demonstration Campaign Funding Opportunity 

GTO is investing up to $20 million in demonstrations of technical innovations that can reduce the costs and time for drilling geothermal wells in order to drive investment in geothermal energy production; improve electric grid reliability and resilience; increase access to clean, renewable power; and spur the expansion of geothermal energy.  

GTO is compiling a Teaming Partner List to facilitate the formation of new project teams for the funding opportunity. The list allows organizations who may wish to participate in an application, but do not want to apply as the prime applicant, to express their interest to other potential applicants and explore potential partners. Participation in the Teaming Partner List is not required to apply for this funding opportunity. 

Watch Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power Alejandro Moreno talk about GTO’s newest funding opportunity and the benefits that accelerating drilling has to offer.  

Sign Up To Receive Funding Notices From DOE  

EERE has launched a new email list to share its funding opportunities and prizes. 

Researchers, entrepreneurs, academics, professionals, and other stakeholders are encouraged to sign up to receive information about open funding programs for all EERE’s clean energy technologies. 

Visit EERE’s Funding Opportunities webpage to subscribe and find additional resources and the latest information. 

Prizes and Competitions

Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize


Reminder: Applications for Phase One of the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize are due by Feb. 25, 2022. The Office of Economic Impact and Diversity launched the prize to support innovation in underrepresented communities in the energy sector. Visit the prize website to learn more. 

Upcoming Events and Webinars

GTO 2022 Virtual Peer Review

Join us virtually for our Peer ReviewThe event is currently scheduled in half day sessions on May 10, 12, 16, 18, 24, and 26. Registration information will be provided soon; keep an eye out for an email and on GTO’s events webpage.   

Peer Review

Publications and Products

Presentation: An Update on the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technology Program

At the recent Stanford Geothermal Workshop, GTO Program Manager Lauren Boyd discussed new and ongoing initiatives funded by GTO. The presentation will be available soon on GTO’s presentation webpage.

Blog: Geothermal Takes the Stage

Power purchase agreements provide financial certainty for utility companies and developers, which helps encourage new renewable power plants. In the next installment of An Energy Story, read about two new geothermal power plants in California that are accelerating the deployment of new clean energy projects. In case you missed it, read chapter 3, Geothermal is Ready for its Close Up.

Coming Soon: American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) Letters

Every quarter, ARMA publishes ARMA LettersMake sure to read the Winter 2022 geothermal-themed edition for an article from GTO. (The latest edition is limited to ARMA members.)  

In Case You Missed It

Secretary Granholm’s Remarks in Mexico City, Mexico

Last month, Secretary Granholm visited Mexico City and met with senior Mexican leadership to discuss collaboration on geothermal energy development. Read more.

Utah FORGE Presents at International Union of Geological Sciences  

Recently, Dr. Joseph Moore, principal investigator of Utah FORGE, participated on a panel discussion as part of the International Union of Geological Sciences Energy Transition Series. This first of six energy transition events included presentations on the current state of geothermal energy and a discussion focused on ways to increase understanding and awareness of the technology. Dr. Moore addressed the challenges facing widespread adoption of geothermal energy, the potential enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) offer, and the key role Utah FORGE is playing in the advancement of research and technologies for global geothermal usage. View the presentation.  

Happy 10th Birthday to the Geothermal Data Repository 

This month, join GTO in celebrating Geothermal Data Repository (GDR) turning 10 years old! GDR is the submission point for all data collected from researchers funded by GTO. Make sure to check out recent reports on the GDR website. Keep an eye out for next month’s edition for more on GDR! 

Deep Talks: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet 

Did you miss the Jan. 13 webinar that featured Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Hunter Knox and Sandia National Laboratories’ Paul Schwering discussing the geothermal research at the Sanford Underground Research Facility? If so, the recording is now available. Learn about the GTO’s EGS Collab, which is taking place at the facility. 

Reasons to Love Geothermal  


GTO turned up the heat this Valentine’s Day rereading all of the reasons why we love geothermal. Not only is it dependable, valuable, and available, it has a huge place in our hearts. Thanks for always being there for us, geothermal. Read more 

Geothermal Energy Around the Web

Politico’s Morning Energy Newsletter: DOE Puts the Cash on Geothermal. The Energy Department announced a new funding program for geothermal drilling demonstration projects aimed at reducing drilling costs and the time needed to complete them. Drilling can contribute 50% of the costs of geothermal projects and supporting projects in areas with traditional reliance on fossil fuels could help the administration in its mission to help ferry local economies toward clean energy. The program will provide $20 million in competitive funding. 

StateImpact Oklahoma: OU Researchers Aim to Repurpose Abandoned Oil Wells for Geothermal Energy. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma were awarded $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to repurpose abandoned oil and gas wells for providing geothermal energy.  

Answer: I lava you a lot! 

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