Lucas Applauds DOE Geothermal Energy Research Initiative, University of Oklahoma Awards

February 25, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) of $46 million in project awards for advanced early-stage clean energy research through the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) Initiative at the University of Utah- including funds awarded to the University of Oklahoma to help develop and engineer Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies. 

“America leads the world in installed geothermal capacity, but it accounts for just two percent of our renewable energy portfolio. Developing advanced geothermal energy technology requires strong investment in basic and early-stage research, like the awards announced today,” said Lucas. “Our country has significant hydrothermal and geothermal energy resources, and if harnessed correctly, these resources have the capability to provide secure baseload power and energy storage for Americans across the country, which is why I introduced the Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act and advocated for its inclusion in the Energy Act of 2020. As has been witnessed in the great state of Oklahoma, by investing in early-stage research in enhanced geothermal systems, we can dramatically improve our ability to access and use clean and constant geothermal energy. We know that American industry and our research enterprises have the necessary resources to successfully diversify America’s energy resources, and the FORGE initiative funds announced today ensure we continue our journey further developing clean energy technologies.”

The FORGE Initiative is authorized by the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020, the first major update of America’s energy policy in 13 years. This legislation includes more than a dozen bills from the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, including Ranking Member Lucas’ Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act, and focuses on competitive and innovative clean energy solutions. It prioritizes basic research funding for early-stage technologies--like geothermal, advanced nuclear, and carbon capture--that are the next-generation of clean energy capabilities and that could minimize carbon emissions while keeping costs low for Americans.

Two projects located at the University of Oklahoma were selected to move forward into award negotiations to help gain a fundamental understanding of the key mechanisms controlling EGS success and to further engineer EGS technologies for future use.

EGS are manmade geothermal reservoirs and can be engineered in most parts of the country, potentially expanding geothermal energy production and transforming the domestic energy portfolio.

To learn more, visit the Utah FORGE website.