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Introduction to this special section: Geothermal energy

January 7, 2020

Geothermal energy is a global renewable resource that has the potential to provide a significant portion of baseload energy in many regions. In the United States, it has the potential to provide 8.5% of the electric generation capacity by the middle of the century. In general, geothermal systems require heat, permeability, and water to be viable for energy generation. However, with current technologies, only heat is strictly necessary in a native system. Engineered geothermal systems (EGS) introduce water into the subsurface at elevated pressures and reduced temperatures and enhance permeability through hydraulic and/or shear fracturing. Additionally, although moderate- to high-temperature resources currently dominate geothermal energy production, low-temperature resources have been utilized for direct-use cases. When well balanced and maintained, geothermal resources can produce significant amounts of heat and achieve long-term sustainability on the order of an estimated tens to hundreds of years.

Publication Year 2020
Title Introduction to this special section: Geothermal energy
DOI 10.1190/tle39120855.1
Authors Joern Kaven, Dennise Templeton, Arpita P. Bathija
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Leading Edge
Index ID 70239440
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center