The Drill Down – National Geothermal Day

The Drill Down – National Geothermal Day

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Geothermal Technologies Office


October 20, 2021

Drill Down 6.28

Celebrate National Geothermal Day with GTO!

Estimated read time: 7 minutes

GTO day banner

October 20 is National Geothermal Day—a day to celebrate geothermal’s important role in our country’s clean energy future and to learn how the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) are helping us achieve it.

From the Director: From GTO to you, Happy Geothermal Day! Thank YOU for all that you do in the geothermal community, from conducting high-impact research and development, participating in and mentoring teams in our prizes and competitions, responding to our requests for information, to getting the word out about geothermal energy and its benefits. This community is incredibly special, and GTO is proud to be a part of it.

In honor of National Geothermal Day, join GTO for a rockin’ live tour of the Rock Dynamics and Imaging Lab at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), listen to opening remarks from Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm at the Geothermal Rising Conference (GRC), and read recent GTO blogs. Make sure you are following the Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) on social media and view our hashtag #GeothermalIsSoHotRightNow for fun geothermal trivia and facts!

Below you will find information on announcements, upcoming events, newly released publications and products, and more


Riddle me this: Why are geologists excellent gift-givers?

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GTO 2022 Peer Review: Request for Input

GTO is thrilled to host a fully virtual peer review in May 2022! We are excited to build on the success of our last peer review. As we move forward on planning, we would like YOUR feedback on what has worked in the past and what can be improved. What would you like to get out of the peer review in your role as an awardee, reviewer, or member of the public? With this input, we hope to make the 2022 GTO Peer Review our best one yet. Please email with your feedback and questions.

Professors and Students: Apply to the 2021–2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition


The 2021–2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition (GCC) challenges students to design heating and cooling systems for buildings, campuses, or entire communities, gaining skills that will prepare them to join the clean energy workforce. Core progress submissions are due Nov. 18. Learn more and apply on the competition website. Read the 2021 GCC Student Spotlights and learn how the GCC influenced participants’ career plans.

Apply Now: 2022 Graduate Education for Minority Students Fellowship Program

GTO is excited to announce the upcoming Graduate Education for Minority Students (GEM) fellowship program. The GEM program recruits high-quality, underrepresented students pursuing graduate degrees in applied science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and is designed to promote opportunities for individuals to enter the industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development, product development, and other high-level technical careers. Students pursuing graduate degrees who are interested in becoming GEM fellows should apply by Nov. 13. Visit the GEM website for more details.

EnergyTech University Prize

DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) recently announced the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages national laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. 

Energy tech

EnergyTech UP awards $250,000 in total cash prizes to teams that navigate a three-phase process. The top teams will compete for a share of $100,000 in prizes funded by OTT. In addition, GTO and five other DOE technology offices are offering up to $25,000 each in bonus prizes for the best teams in their respective fields. For more information, visit the competition website.

Attend the informational webinar on Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. ET to learn more about the rules and timeline. Registration is required.

Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize

In September, EERE announced the launch of the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize, which will provide cash prizes to groups and organizations to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underrepresented and underserved in the energy sector.


The prize will be distributed in two phases. In Phase One, up to 10 winners will receive an initial cash prize of $200,000 each, with the opportunity to receive additional awards. Phase One awardees will also receive mentorship and other support services and are eligible to participate in Phase Two of the prize. In Phase Two, up to three teams will be awarded cash prizes from a prize pool of $500,000.

Upcoming Events and Webinars

LIVE Virtual Tour of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

GTO has teamed up with LBNL staff scientist Dr. Timothy Kneafsey to get a live tour of the Rock Dynamics and Imaging Lab. Tune in to EERE’s Facebook Live TODAY at 2 p.m. ET!

Webinar: How DOE Is Supporting Small Businesses to Strengthen Community Partnerships and Workforce Development

On Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. ET, join DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, OTT, and Office of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs for a webinar to learn how DOE is working to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion through SBIR/STTR programs. Registration is required.

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

DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge is launching a series of national conversations called Connecting Across the Energy Storage Workforce. This series will take place on Oct. 28 and Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. ET. It 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.’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 U.S. can build a robust, highly trained energy storage talent pool.

Publications and Products

An Ode to Geothermal

Geothermal plays an important role in DOE’s efforts to deploy innovative clean technologies that will help catapult us into a clean energy future. Read the latest blog on all of the many reasons to love geothermal on National Geothermal Day.

Can Geothermal Energy Solve the Lithium Shortfall?

Lithium plays a vital role in our high-tech world, from helping to power our electric vehicles to modernizing the power grid. As our needs have grown, there is an urgency to find new sources of domestic lithium and discover innovative ways to recover this critical material. Read a recent GTO blog and learn about the role geothermal energy plays in bringing more domestic lithium to the market and supporting the clean energy economy.

Modeling Heat Transport Process in Enhanced Geothermal Systems: A Validation Study from EGS Collab Experiment 1

As discussed in a new Geothermics article, coauthored by GTO staff, enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) commercialization involves a complex process involving heat recovery from fracture networks and rock formations; success, however, remains elusive because of the generally insufficient characterization of EGS reservoirs. The authors:

  • Analyzed heat transport processes in an intermediate-scale EGS field experiment.
  • Developed a high-fidelity model incorporating a well-constrained fractured network.
  • Demonstrated the capability in modeling heat recovery from EGS reservoirs.

Enhanced Geothermal Systems: Climate-Tech to Watch

With technological advancements in deep-well drilling and material improvements, EGS technology costs could be reduced, and geothermal energy could make substantial contributions to a net-zero energy system over the long term. Read a recent article from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Video – Drilling Into the Geothermal Future: The Landmark Success of the First Deep Deviated Well

Major advancements are underway at the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) site in Milford, Utah, where researchers are successfully creating a geothermal reservoir where none exists naturally. Watch the video and learn about the success of drilling the first deep deviated well.

Look Into the Layers of the Earth: Create Your Own Model of the Earth (K-8th Grade Level)

Celebrate National Geothermal Day with your kiddos and students by creating your own model of the Earth with this easy #STEMatHome project that will help you understand why there is heat beneath our feet! For instructions, visit GTO’s website.



In Case You Missed It

Secretary Granholm Speaks at GRC

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm opened the annual conference, highlighting geothermal’s critical role in the Biden-Harris Administration’s push to get 100% of our electricity from clean energy by 2035. Watch her remarks and watch the full GRC 2021 Opening Presentation.

GTO Director Susan Hamm’s GRC Keynote Remarks

If you were unable to attend the 2021 GRC, check out Director Hamm’s keynote presentation on the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, GTO’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget, and new and ongoing initiatives on GTO’s presentations webpage.

GTO Staff Remarks at GRC

Make sure to check out several GTO staff members’ presentations as panelists at GRC, including Lauren Boyd, Alexis McKittrick, Sean Porse, and George Stutz. View presentations on GRC’s website. (Subscription required to watch presentations)

Geothermal Energy Around the Web

Aquifer Energy Storage Project Wins Financial Backing of Minneapolis City Council. Read how the city of Minneapolis is taking a significant step to fight climate change with its aquifer thermal energy storage geothermal project, the first of its kind in the region.

Joseph Moore: Time for Utah to Tap the Energy That Lies Beneath Our Feet. Did you know that Utah has a vital role in the future expansion of geothermal energy? Utah FORGE is at the forefront of developing EGS reservoirs to explore the untapped potential of the heat beneath our feet.

Answer: They’re very sedimental.

Did we miss your event or an interesting media piece? Please reach out to us at!

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