Approaches and Examples for Assessing and Implementing Direct-Use Geothermal Energy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 42% of energy use in U.S. residences and about 36% of energy use in U.S. commercial buildings goes towards space heating while producing 485 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. Conversely, a U.S. Geological Survey assessment estimates that 46,000 Megawatt thermal (MWth) of total beneficial heat is available nationally from geothermal resources below 90 °C (~195 °F) while the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the total U.S. low-grade (less than 150 °C) conventional geothermal resource capable of supporting geothermal direct-use is about 3.6 million gigawatt-hours-thermal (GWhth). Direct-use of geothermal energy offers a clean and renewable alternative to meet this demand but is hindered in its adoption by our lack of ability to quickly and accurately identify and characterize the resource. This session encourages participants to submit research that highlights efforts that aid in identifying, characterizing, and/or implementing direct-use resources across all scales and applications with the goal of accelerating market penetration of direct-use. The focus is on work that supports technical and/or economic assessments in a way that reduces risk to the investor/adopter. Case studies that illustrate lessons learned that are helpful and transferrable to other projects are also encouraged.
Session Chair: Thomas S. Lowry, Sandia National Laboratories
Session Co-Chair: Yu-Feng F. Lin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Cham