Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?
Highlighting research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes
IEA (2021), Capturing the energy beneath our feet, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/articles/capturing-the-energy-beneath-our-feet
What is the aim of this project?
The Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) is a dedicated underground field laboratory in Utah, United States, that is developing, testing and accelerating breakthroughs in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) technologies to advance the uptake of geothermal resources around the world.
FORGE’s mission is to enable cutting-edge research, drilling and technology testing so that scientists can identify a replicable, commercial pathway to EGS. FORGE also fosters robust data collection using state-of-the-art instrumentation to capture and share data and activities occurring at FORGE in real time. FORGE’s innovative collaboration and management platform is the first of its kind.
How would the project be explained to a high-school student?
Traditional geothermal wells are drilled in hot permeable rock. An enhanced geothermal system is a man-made reservoir created where there is hot rock that is not permeable enough. Fluid is injected into the rock, re-opening pre-existing cracks and making the rock permeable. This allows the fluid to transport heat to the surface where energy can extracted and used, such as for electricity generation. The original geothermal water is recycled back into the reservoir.
How does the project help to achieve climate and energy goals?
What government policies could advance this project?
United States Department of Energy
Expected project duration
About the Geothermal TCP
Established in 1997, the Geothermal Energy TCP promotes international collaboration to foster the development and sustainable use of geothermal energy. Its activities are chiefly directed towards the sharing of information; developing technologies, techniques and best practices for exploration, development and utilisation; and producing and disseminating authoritative geothermal information and data.
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