The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Program and other geothermal organizations on a three-year effort to produce an updated assessment of available geothermal resources. The new assessment will introduce significant changes in the models for geothermal energy recovery factors, estimates of reservoir volumes, and limits to temperatures and depths for electric power production. It will also include the potential impact of evolving Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology. An important focus in the assessment project is on the development of geothermal resource models consistent with the production histories and observed characteristics of exploited geothermal fields. New models for the recovery of heat from heterogeneous, fractured reservoirs provide a physically realistic basis for evaluating the production potential of both natural geothermal reservoirs and reservoirs that may be created through the application of EGS technology. Project investigators have also made substantial progress studying geothermal systems and the factors responsible for their formation through studies in the Great Basin-Modoc Plateau region, Coso, Long Valley, the Imperial Valley and central Alaska, Project personnel are also entering the supporting data and resulting analyses into geospatial databases that will be produced as part of the resource assessment.
Additional publication details
The USGS national geothermal resource assessment: An update
Larger Work Title:
Transactions - Geothermal Resources Council
Geothermal Resources Council - Annual Meeting of the Geothermal Resources Council 2007