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Cutting the red tape around geothermal energy | Podcast

Recent legislation in the US promises to be a boon for geothermal energy production

In January, the US House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bipartisan bill that could have a big impact on the geothermal sector. Effectively putting geothermal on the same footing as oil and gas - by excluding geothermal development from strict NEPA rules – the bill could cut the red tape and boost production in the sector.

Geothermal has a lot of potential. The DOE estimates it could contribute almost 10% of US energy capacity by 2050. New geothermal technology, which uses horizontal drilling to drill multiple wells into geothermal reservoirs from a single location, is a promising start, but more innovation is needed to become cost competitive.

Joining David to discuss the legislation and the technology that underpins the geothermal sector, are Dr Joseph Moore - Research Professor at the University of Utah and Managing Principal Investigator at Utah FORGE, a geothermal research facility managed by the Energy & Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah, and sponsored by the DOE – and Lauren Boyd, Senior Adviser at the US Department of Energy, which is sponsoring the Utah FORGE laboratory.

Together they examine the cost, operation and scope for geothermal energy in the US.

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