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Geothermal sees $26m funding increase under U.S. DOE Applied R&D allocations 2020

Aerial photo of the FORGE Milford Site in Utah, U.S. (source: Utah FORGE via Seequent)
Alexander Richter 2 Feb 2020

The U.S. Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) project in Utah will receive a $20m funding boost as part of a $110m applied R&D budget for geothermal in the U.S., an increase of $26 million over 2019.

Announced before the weekend, the budgets for the U.S. Department of Energy’s applied Research & Development officers are all increasing in the fiscal year of 2020. The increases include new funding for negative emissions technologies and a major advanced nuclear reactor demonstration program.

The FY 2020 appropriations for DOE Applied Energy R&D differ greatly from the requests by the Trump administration, particularly as it applies to funding cuts to ARPA-E, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

Overall budget is increasing by around 20% to $2.9 billion.

As part of the funding for renewable energy technologies, geothermal funding will increase from $84 million in FY2019 to $110 million in FY2020, an increase of 31%.

Of the funding, $20 million will go to the  Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) project, an EGS project we have repeatedly reported on. The project is to test and evaluate enhanced geothermal systems and is currently underway at a site in Utah.

“Congress has already provided the project with enough funding to see the project through its anticipated five year period of operations. DOE therefore only requested $5 million for the site’s eventual closure, but policy legislation pending in Congress indicates there is interest in both the House and Senate in expanding the project to at least one additional site.”

Source: American Institute of Physics