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Title: Sustaining the National Geothermal Data System: Considerations for a System Wide Approach and Node Maintenance, Geothermal Resources Council 37th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 29-October 2, 2013

Since the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office has funded $33.7 million for multiple data digitization and aggregation projects focused on making vast amounts of geothermal relevant data available to industry for advancing geothermal exploration. These projects are collectively part of the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS), a distributed, networked system for maintaining, sharing, and accessing data in an effort to lower the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). Determining “who owns” and “who maintains” the NGDS and its data nodes (repositories in the distributed system) is yet to be determined. However, the invest- ment in building and populating the NGDS has been substantial, both in terms of dollars and time; it is critical that this investment be protected by ensuring sustainability of the data, the software and systems, and the accessibility of the data. Only then, will the benefits be fully realized. To keep this operational system sustainable will require four core elements: continued serving of data and applications; maintenance of system operations; a governance structure; and an effective business model. Each of these presents a number of challenges. Data being added to the NGDS are not strictly geothermal but data consideredmore » relevant to geothermal exploration and develop- ment, including vast amounts of oil and gas and groundwater wells, among other data. These are relevant to a broader base of users. By diversifying the client base to other users and other fields, the cost of maintaining core infrastructure can be spread across an array of stakeholders and clients. It is presumed that NGDS will continue to provide free and open access to its data resources. The next-phase NGDS operation should be structured to eventually pursue revenue streams to help off-set sustainability expenses as necessary and appropriate, potentially including income from: grants and contracts (agencies, foundations, pri- vate sector), membership, fees for services (consulting, training, customization, ‘app’ development), repository services (data, services, apps, models, documents, multimedia), advertisements, fees for premier services or applications, subscriptions to value added services, licenses, contributions and donations, endow- ments, and sponsorships.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Arizona Geological Survey
  2. Southern Methodist University
  3. U. S. Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies Office
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Geothermal Resources Council 37th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 29-October 2, 2013
Research Org:
Boise State University
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Program (EE-2C)
Contributing Orgs:
Arizona Geological Survey, Southern Methodist University, U.S. Department of Energy-Geothermal Technologies Office
Country of Publication:
United States
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY National Geothermal Data system, NGDS, sustainability, business models