US Investing $11.5 Million to Advance Geologic Carbon Storage and Geothermal Exploration

WASHINGTON, 28th July, 2016 (WAM) – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of eight new research and development projects to receive a total of $11.5 million in federal funding under DOE’s Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration Crosscut initiative.

The new projects are focused on furthering geothermal energy and carbon storage technologies, and will be funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) and the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) Carbon Storage program, a DOE press release said "The projects selected today will advance our ability to store captured carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and improve our understanding of renewable geothermal resources – both of which will help us achieve our nation’s climate and clean energy goals," said DOE’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy Franklin Orr. "The announcement of these selections also underscores the importance of the crosscutting initiatives that Secretary Moniz has encouraged throughout DOE. Sharing expertise and experiences across the Department is helping us make progress on challenging energy science and technology that demand expertise across the science and engineering disciplines."

Many opportunities exist to use the rocks beneath the earth’s surface to improve the way we use energy – including next generation geothermal energy, safely storing greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change, mitigating the impacts of fossil energy development, and nuclear waste storage and disposal. Across those varied challenges, the Subsurface Crosscut addresses a number of common technical issues. In particular, it plans and implements research, development, and field demonstrations emphasizing four pillars: Wellbore Integrity, Subsurface Stress and Induced Seismicity, Permeability Manipulation, and New Subsurface Signals.

Today’s selections fall under two objectives: (1) deploy and validate prototype carbon storage monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) technologies in an operational field environment, and (2) identify and validate new subsurface signals to characterize and image the subsurface, advancing the state of knowledge in geothermal exploration.

Projects under the first objective are required to deploy technologies or techniques associated with near-surface and/or subsurface monitoring at a large- or commercial-scale site for validation. The projects selected under the second objective will develop new approaches to characterize and image subsurface systems.