Energy & Environment

Biden administration aims to make geothermal energy ‘widespread’

In this image from a drone provided by the Center for Biological Diversity is the wetlands at Dixie Meadows, home to the Dixie Valley toad near the Ormat construction site for the Dixie Meadows Geothermal Project, in Churchill County, Nev., on June 28, 2022. (Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity via AP)

The Biden administration announced a new goal to make the use of geothermal energy — renewable energy that comes from heat that’s inside the earth — “widespread” as it seeks to transition away from fossil fuels. 

In a statement on Thursday, the Energy Department said it hopes to cut the costs of geothermal energy systems by 90 percent by 2035. 

The department said that capturing even a “small fraction” of the U.S.’s geothermal resources could power more than 40 million homes.

“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,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. 

Specifically, the Energy Department will invest in research and development for geothermal energy. Geothermal energy can be used to heat buildings, as well as in electricity generation, food dehydrating, gold mining and milk pasteurizing. 

The announcement follows similar initiatives aimed at bolstering the deployment of other emerging energy technologies like clean hydrogen energy and batteries.

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