Geothermal power to drive US clean energy growth and job creation - Image: Johann Ragnarsson

The US Department of Energy (DOE) predicts a significant increase in geothermal energy production by 2050, with a twenty-fold increase, potentially reaching 90 gigawatts or more, according to a report titled "Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Next-Generation Geothermal Power."

This growth aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration's goal of achieving a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035 and stimulating the clean energy economy by creating numerous high-paying jobs.

The report showcases next-generation geothermal power as a groundbreaking advancement in harnessing the Earth's heat for electricity generation.

By leveraging emerging technologies and innovative methods, geothermal resources can be accessed and converted into electricity more efficiently and sustainably than ever before.

This approach also benefits from the existing technology, supply chains, and workforces of the oil and gas sector, making it a promising avenue for clean energy expansion.

Jennifer Granholm, US Secretary of Energy, said: "The US can lead the clean energy future with continued innovation on next-generation technologies, from harnessing the power of the sun to the heat beneath our feet, and cracking the code to deploy them at scale."


Next-generation expansion: With the use of next-generation technologies, geothermal power has the potential to expand by more than 20 times from current US installed capacity, contributing 90 GW of clean, firm power nationwide by 2050, and potentially significantly more.

Increased job opportunities: The existing oil and gas workforce of more than 300,000 can potentially transition and use their existing skills to advance geothermal power.

Sustainable Production: Next-generation geothermal has unique starting advantages that mean it is poised for rapid scale due to highly transferrable and existing technology, supply chains, and workforces.

Access to sustainable resources: Next-generation geothermal technology can engineer geothermal resources in ubiquitous hot rock formations, eliminating the need for human-made reservoirs or systems in the subsurface, making heat resources accessible nationwide.

Lower Costs: Competitive pricing models can position next-generation geothermal power to be as cost effective as other energy sources.