Gobble Up Our New Content, Features & More

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Geothermal Technologies Office


November 17, 2021

Drill Down 6.28

Gobble Up Our New Content, Features & More

Estimated read time: 6 minutes 

What’s inside: Welcome to The Drill Down, a monthly snapshot of all things geothermal from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO). Gobble up new announcements, prizes and competitions, upcoming events, newly released publications and products, and more!

Riddle me this: When were rock puns the funniest puns of all time?

Share The Drill Down with your friends and colleagues and encourage them to subscribe. Feedback or suggestions for content? Please reach us at DOE.Geothermal@ee.doe.gov.


Request for Information: Technology Advancements for Subsurface Exploration for Renewable Energy Resources or Carbon Storage

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently released a request for information to solicit input for a potential research program focused on technologies that enable high-resolution, wide-area subsurface mapping to identify opportunities for renewable energy technologies and the future low-carbon economy. Examples where advances in subsurface imaging will be critical include locating reservoirs for carbon capture and storage, identifying new geothermal sites, mapping natural accumulations of energy-relevant minerals, and assessing potential resources of geologic hydrogen. Responses are due by Dec. 1.

Start Preparing Your Applications for Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project

Remote, island, and islanded communities interested in applying to the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) can take preliminary steps now to prepare for the January 2022 application release. Prospective applicants who experience challenges related to frequent energy disruptions, threats to energy infrastructure from natural hazards, and high energy costs are encouraged to review eligibility criteria on the ETIPP application webpage and contact an ETIPP regional partner with questions on the application process.


Request for Information: Technologies that Decarbonize Commercial Buildings

📬 We want to hear from you! DOE and the General Services Administration issued a request for information for technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings; are ready for evaluation in occupied, operational buildings; and have potential for equitable, wide adoption in the U.S. marketplace. Submit your responses by Dec. 7 and send your questions to gpg@gsa.gov

Activate Fellowship is Open

Applications are now open for a 2-year fellowship to turn your technology concept into a product. Activate is creating a new path for world-changing innovators by helping scientists and engineers develop and commercialize their technologies. Activate supports projects in microelectronics, climate, energy, advanced manufacturing, and more. Applications are due by Nov. 30.

Direct Air Capture Funding Opportunity

The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, in collaboration with GTO and the Office of Nuclear Energy, announced a funding opportunity to support the advancement of direct air capture technologies that remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Industry decarbonization and carbon dioxide removal are essential to meet the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Submissions are due Dec. 22.

Prizes and Competitions

GCC: Core Progress Submissions and Updated Challenge Rules


To enable the participation of additional spring semester entrants, Core Progress Submissions have now been made an optional component of team submission packages. The first required submission deadline is now Feb. 17, 2022, and the final deadline remains April 14, 2022. Teams are strongly encouraged to create Core Progress Submissions, those who do not will miss out on the opportunity for valuable feedback! 

Administered by GTO and managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the competition is designed for college students to design geothermal heating and cooling systems as a way to gain real world experience that will prepare them to join the clean energy workforce. Learn more and get involved on the competition website.

American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

The Make! Contest applications are open until Friday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. ET. Up to five finalists will be selected to split a $750,000 cash prize pool, and each winning team will earn $50,000 in support vouchers to be used at national labs and partner facilities. Visit the competition website to learn more.

Congratulations to the American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize Phase One Semifinalists

GTO recently announced the semifinalists for the Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize, a competition focused on advancing geothermal technologies and techniques to support direct lithium extraction from geothermal brines. The 15 semifinalist teams, representing 13 different universities, will move on to Phase Two of the prize during which they will fabricate and test their designs.


EnergyTech University Prize

The Office of Technology Transitions’ EnergyTech University Prize is designed to challenge multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. To learn more, watch the informational webinar recording and sign up to compete by January 2022, on the competition website.

Energy tech

Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize

The Office of Economic Impact and Diversity launched the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize to support innovation in underrepresented communities in the energy sector. Phase One of the prize will provide cash incentives of up to $200,000 each to up to 10 winning organizations. Submissions for Phase One are due by Feb. 25, 2022. Visit the competition website to learn more.


Upcoming Events and Webinars

GCC Webinar Wednesday: Ask Me Anything!

The final Wednesday Webinar series event held in conjunction with the GCC is TODAY at 2 p.m. ET. This webinar is your opportunity to ask the competition administration team anything about the competition, your submission, geothermal energy, or geothermal careers! This webinar series invites students and other participants interested in the GCC to attend to learn more details about the competition and get tips on how to put together a successful submission. If you missed a previous webinar, we’ve got you covered. Check out other webinars in the series.


DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs encourage U.S. small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for future commercialization. On Nov. 8, Phase I Release 2 topics were announced. To learn more about EERE topics, register for the Phase 1 Release 2 Webinar TODAY at 2 p.m. ET. The funding opportunity announcement will be released on Dec. 13. Visit the SBIR/STTR website for more information.

Connecting Across the Energy Storage Workforce: A Series of National Roundtable Conversations

DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge has launched a series of national conversations called Connecting Across the Energy Storage Workforce. The next roundtable conversation, “Measuring Success and Impact on National Energy Storage Workforce Solutions,” will take place TODAY, Nov. 17, at noon ET. This event will convene a diverse group of workforce development leaders from across industry, academia, state government, and the national laboratory complex to confirm the current state of the U.S. energy storage workforce; identify the current and future needs within industry and challenges and opportunity spaces within the academic and training sector; and develop a national approach articulating how the United States can build a robust, highly trained energy storage talent pool. Register now!

SERDP and ESTCP 2021 Symposium: Enhancing DoD’s Mission Effectiveness

On Dec. 1, GTO Director Susan Hamm will be speaking at Solutions for Reducing Installation of Carbon Emissions session at the 2021 SERDP/ESTCP virtual symposium. This event is the nation’s largest conference focusing on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) priority of environmental and installation of energy issues. The event will offer 20 technical sessions, a number of short courses, 400 technical posters, and a variety of networking opportunities.

The symposium will take place from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, register now!

Publications and Products

GeoFlight Takes Off to Help Identify Geothermal and Mineral Resources in the Salton Sea

We’re flying into exploring hidden geothermal systems in the Salton Sea region of California! GTO partnered with the Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on an initiative to identify areas with geothermal potential. Initiatives like this make it possible for communities to find the best energy solutions and be a part of our nation’s clean energy future. Read GTO’s blog to learn more.

New Geothermal Heat Pump Data Available on GDR

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently submitted a data set to help users better understand geothermal heat pump systems. The data set contains thermal response functions for standing borehole ground heat exchangers. Dig into the data on the Geothermal Data Repository website.

Lab STEM Spotlight

Looking at Geothermal Energy through an International Lens

NREL geoscientist Amanda Kolker has studied geothermal energy all around the world. Read more about her background in a new profile.

In Case You Missed It

Airplanes to Make Low-level Flights Over Parts of Nevada and Eastern California

GeoDAWN, a data collection initiative supported by GTO and conducted by USGS, is underway in western and northern Nevada and part of eastern California. The USGS-contracted airplane will measure Earth’s naturally occurring magnetic field and natural radiation that help geologists map, model, and discern the rock layers at and below the surface. For more information, visit the USGS website or view a GTO fact sheet.

National STEM Day

Did you know National STEM Day was on November 8? Celebrate by creating your own model of the Earth with GTO’s #STEMatHome project, watching an exclusive tour of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Rock Dynamics and Imaging Lab, and visiting GTO’s one-stop shop for virtual STEM resources to tour one of DOE’s national laboratories, watch geothermal videos, and find other activities. 

GCC Webinar Wednesday Series

If you missed previous GCC Wednesday Webinars, you can watch the recordings on geothermal 101, direct use, ethical and responsible stakeholder engagement, and tips on a successful application by visiting the competition website.

Geothermal Energy Around the Web

Capturing the Energy Beneath our Feet. Read the latest IEA at COP26 article that shines a spotlight on the GTO-funded Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) project, which is developing breakthrough enhanced geothermal systems technologies.

Wave. Offshore wind. Geothermal. Are these the next power resources for San Diego County? San Diego County is exploring alternative energy sources to achieve its sustainability plan of 100% renewable energy by 2030, and geothermal stands out for its ability to provide round-the-clock power.

Answer: During the Stone Age

Did we miss your event or an interesting media piece? Please reach out to us at DOE.Geothermal@ee.doe.gov!

This email was sent to doe@enjoule.com on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy · 1000 Independence Ave., SW · Washington DC 20585

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