This past Thursday, Jennifer Granholm, the Energy Secretary, officials announced a new goal to attempt to make geothermal power sources a “widespread renewable energy option.”
As stated by a recent press release sent out by the Department of Energy, legislators are pursuing the objective of make the power generated from upgraded geothermal systems, which create energy by utilizing the hot rock layers within the ground to heat water, as much as 90% cheaper by as soon as 2035.
“The United States has a vast, geothermal energy resource lying right beneath our feet, and this program will make it economical to bring that power to American households and businesses,” stated Granholm. “DOE’s Enhanced Geothermal Shot will move geothermal technology from research and development to cost-effective commercial adoption, helping energy communities and workers transition to producing clean energy for the future.”
Currently, the overall cost of geothermal energy sits at roughly $0.45 per kilowatt hour, as stated in a press release. All the while, the total cost of coal power sits at a staggeringly cheaper $0.032 per kilowatt hour, as reported by a Brookings Institution analysis.
Just last month, an announcement from the Department of Energy showed another $44 million in funding was headed to the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory situated in Utah.
“These new investments at FORGE, the flagship of our EGS research, can help us find the most innovative, cost-effective solutions and accelerate our work toward wide-scale geothermal deployment and support President Biden’s ambitious climate goals,” stated Granholm. Geothermal resources currently create 3.7 gigawatts of power for the United States — the needed amount in order to successfully power 2.8 million homes.
Previously, the administration of Old Uncle Joe set up a goal of going 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by as soon as 2035 and then going net-zero emissions throughout the entire economy by 2050. In that effort, Democratic lawmakers have injected billions into various renewable energy projects over the course of the past two years, which includes an allocation of $369 billion towards climate initiatives within the Inflation Reduction Act.
Across various other statutes, the legislation set up a $7,500 tax credit solely to entice people to buy new electric cars. Earlier this past year, Granholm made the argument that moving away from gas-powered cars could end up helping Americans that are dealing with overtly high prices at the gas pump.
“The real truth is that as long as our nation remains overly reliant on oil and fossil fuels, we will feel these price shocks again,” explained Granholm. “This is not going to be the last time. The next time there’s a war, the next time there’s a pandemic or another hurricane, these extreme weather events we are experiencing — they will impact the access that we have to fossil fuels.”