House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas and Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson introduced a bill today to advance geothermal energy technologies. Geothermal energy systems draw from the constant and naturally occurring heat that radiates beneath the surface of the earth.

H.R. 5374, the Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act, authorizes enhanced early-stage geothermal research programs at the Department of Energy (DOE). H.R. 5374 prioritizes the fundamental research needed to develop and test advanced technologies to better capture and utilize geothermal energy.

“Geothermal energy is a tremendous but largely untapped source of power,” Ranking Member Lucas said. “Although the U.S. leads the world in installed geothermal capacity, it accounts for only two percent of our renewable energy portfolio. What we need is focused, early-stage research so industry can take that foundational knowledge and use it to develop advanced technologies that allow us to better use geothermal energy. I thank Chairwoman Johnson for working with me on this legislation and I’m looking forward to marking it up in our Committee.”

 “Despite being some of this country’s and the world’s oldest forms of energy production, geothermal energy technologies have struggled to become and remain competitive in modern energy markets,” said Chairwoman Johnson. “As our nation’s energy needs continue to grow, it is crucial that we invest in research and development of technologies like these with significant potential for clean energy production. I want to thank Ranking Member Lucas for introducing this legislation, and I look forward to supporting this bill.”

The Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act provides the DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office with critical funding and program direction to enable innovative research in advanced geothermal technologies. It will help develop the talent pool needed to implement geothermal energy systems and it will encourage international collaboration. More specifically, it will authorize and expand the Department of Energy’s early-stage research in enhanced geothermal systems and the major facilities needed to support this work. It also authorizes a new program in advanced geothermal computing and data science research and development. This will leverage DOE’s best-in-the-world computational capabilities to provide geothermal researchers with modeling and simulation tools that will allow them to more accurately model complex subsurface systems.