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Title: An Estimate of Shallow, Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States

Abstract

Low-temperature geothermal resources in the United States potentially hold an enormous quantity of thermal energy, useful for direct use in residential, commercial and industrial applications such as space and water heating, greenhouse warming, pool heating, aquaculture, and low-temperature manufacturing processes. Several studies published over the past 40 years have provided assessments of the resource potential for multiple types of low-temperature geothermal systems (e.g. hydrothermal convection, hydrothermal conduction, and enhanced geothermal systems) with varying temperature ranges and depths. This paper provides a summary and additional analysis of these assessments of shallow (= 3 km), low-temperature (30-150 degrees C) geothermal resources in the United States, suitable for use in direct-use applications. This analysis considers six types of geothermal systems, spanning both hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). We outline the primary data sources and quantitative parameters used to describe resources in each of these categories, and present summary statistics of the total resources available. In sum, we find that low-temperature hydrothermal resources and EGS resources contain approximately 8 million and 800 million TWh of heat-in-place, respectively. In future work, these resource potential estimates will be used for modeling of the technical and market potential for direct-use geothermal applications for the U.S. Departmentmore » of Energy's Geothermal Vision Study.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
OSTI Identifier:
1357951
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-6A20-68523
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting (GRC 2016), 23-26 October 2016, Sacramento, California
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; direct use; low temperature; geothermal; hydrothermal; EGS; sedimentary basin; convection; conduction; coastal plain; isolated; delineated area; NREL; SMU; bottom-hole-temperature; hot dry rock; megawatts thermal; beneficial heat

Citation Formats

Mullane, Michelle, Gleason, Michael, Reber, Tim, McCabe, Kevin, Mooney, Meghan, and Young, Katherine R. An Estimate of Shallow, Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Mullane, Michelle, Gleason, Michael, Reber, Tim, McCabe, Kevin, Mooney, Meghan, & Young, Katherine R. An Estimate of Shallow, Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States. United States.
Mullane, Michelle, Gleason, Michael, Reber, Tim, McCabe, Kevin, Mooney, Meghan, and Young, Katherine R. Mon . "An Estimate of Shallow, Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1357951,
title = {An Estimate of Shallow, Low-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States},
author = {Mullane, Michelle and Gleason, Michael and Reber, Tim and McCabe, Kevin and Mooney, Meghan and Young, Katherine R.},
abstractNote = {Low-temperature geothermal resources in the United States potentially hold an enormous quantity of thermal energy, useful for direct use in residential, commercial and industrial applications such as space and water heating, greenhouse warming, pool heating, aquaculture, and low-temperature manufacturing processes. Several studies published over the past 40 years have provided assessments of the resource potential for multiple types of low-temperature geothermal systems (e.g. hydrothermal convection, hydrothermal conduction, and enhanced geothermal systems) with varying temperature ranges and depths. This paper provides a summary and additional analysis of these assessments of shallow (= 3 km), low-temperature (30-150 degrees C) geothermal resources in the United States, suitable for use in direct-use applications. This analysis considers six types of geothermal systems, spanning both hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). We outline the primary data sources and quantitative parameters used to describe resources in each of these categories, and present summary statistics of the total resources available. In sum, we find that low-temperature hydrothermal resources and EGS resources contain approximately 8 million and 800 million TWh of heat-in-place, respectively. In future work, these resource potential estimates will be used for modeling of the technical and market potential for direct-use geothermal applications for the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Vision Study.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Conference:
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  • Low-temperature geothermal resources in the United States potentially hold an enormous quantity of thermal energy, useful for direct use in residential, commercial and industrial applications such as space and water heating, greenhouse warming, pool heating, aquaculture, and low-temperature manufacturing processes. Several studies published over the past 40 years have provided assessments of the resource potential for multiple types of low-temperature geothermal systems (e.g. hydrothermal convection, hydrothermal conduction, and enhanced geothermal systems) with varying temperature ranges and depths. This paper provides a summary and additional analysis of these assessments of shallow (= 3 km), low-temperature (30-150 degrees C) geothermal resources inmore » the United States, suitable for use in direct-use applications. This analysis considers six types of geothermal systems, spanning both hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). We outline the primary data sources and quantitative parameters used to describe resources in each of these categories, and present summary statistics of the total resources available. In sum, we find that low-temperature hydrothermal resources and EGS resources contain approximately 8 million and 800 million TWh of heat-in-place, respectively. In future work, these resource potential estimates will be used for modeling of the technical and market potential for direct-use geothermal applications for the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Vision Study.« less
  • The amount of thermal energy in high-temperature geothermal systems (>150/sup 0/C) in the United States has been calculated by estimating the temperature, area, and thickness of each identified system. These data, along with a general model for recoverability of geothermal energy and a calculation that takes account of the conversion of thermal energy to electricity, yield a resource estimate of 23,000 MW /SUB e/ for 30 years. The undiscovered component was estimated based on multipliers of the identified resource as either 72,000 or 127,000 MW /SUB e/ for 30 years depending on the model chosen for the distribution of undiscoveredmore » energy as a function of temperature.« less
  • A nationwide assessment of geothermal resources less than or equal to 90/sup 0/C has recently been completed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Estimates were obtained of accessible resource base, resource, and beneficial heat for 1145 identified low-temperature reservoirs occurring in hydrothermal convection systems and conduction-dominated systems. For identified systems, the nationwide total of thermal energy recoverable at the wellhead (resource) is estimated to be 82 X 10/sup 18/ J, from which a total beneficial heat of 39,000 MW /SUB t/ for 30 years could be obtained.