UPDATED 1 Sept: The EI library in London is temporarily closed to the public, as a precautionary measure in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The Knowledge Service will still be answering email queries via email , or via live chats during working hours (09:15-17:00 GMT). Our e-library is always open for members here: eLibrary , for full-text access to over 200 e-books and millions of articles. Thank you for your patience.
New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

US geothermal power could increase to 90 GW by 2050


Aerial view of geothermal power plant in California, US Photo: Adobe Stock
Geothermal energy production across the US could rise to 90 GW or more by 2050

Photo: Adobe Stock

The US Department of Energy (DoE) forecasts that next-generation geothermal power could grow significantly in the US, due to new technology advances.

The DoE report predicts that geothermal energy production across the country could rise to 90 GW or more by 2050, a 20-fold increase.


Next-generation geothermal energy is said to offer significant advancement in harnessing the Earth’s heat to generate power, involving new technologies and methods to access and convert geothermal resources into electricity more efficiently and sustainably. They include closed-loop and enhanced geothermal systems, in which fluids circulate openly within a well pair connected by fractures engineered with hydraulic fracturing and hydraulic drilling. By contrast, in current hydrothermal systems fluids circulate openly through naturally-occurring fractures.


‘The US can lead the clean energy future with continued innovation on next-generation technologies, from harnessing the power of the sun to the heat beneath our feet, and cracking the code to deploy them at scale,’ says Jennifer M Granholm, US Secretary of Energy.  


Key findings from the report include:

  • With the use of next-generation technologies, geothermal power has the potential to contribute 90 GW of power nationwide by 2050, and potentially significantly more.
  • The existing oil and gas workforce of more than 300,000 can potentially transition and use their existing skills to advance geothermal power.
  • Next-generation geothermal is poised for rapid scale due to highly transferrable and existing technology, supply chains and workforces.
  • Next-generation geothermal technology can engineer geothermal resources in ubiquitous hot rock formations, making heat resources accessible nationwide.
  • Competitive pricing models can position next-generation geothermal power to be as cost- effective as other energy sources.