U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that eight projects in five states - California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, and Utah - have been selected to receive up to $11.3 million to support the research and development of pioneering geothermal technologies. The projects selected today will foster innovation in the technologies and methods used to generate geothermal energy, which will help strengthen U.S. energy security and increase America's competitiveness in the global clean energy economy. Continued innovation and technical advances will also help geothermal energy to play an important role in achieving President Obama's goal of generating 80 percent of U.S. electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.
"Through these eight projects, the Department of Energy is investing in new technologies that will further develop the nation's geothermal resources and help diversify our energy portfolio," said Secretary Chu. "By investing in geothermal research and development, we are investing in our nation's energy future and creating opportunities for energy innovation in the U.S."
The projects aim to develop fundamentally new ways of producing electricity from the Earth's heat. Selected projects will conduct feasibility studies in Phase I, including technical and economic modeling and component design for technologies that recover geothermal heat for electricity production. If selected for Phase II, projects will then validate the designs in real-world environments. The selected projects are part of the Department's comprehensive efforts to reduce the cost of geothermal energy to be competitive with conventional sources of electricity.
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