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

Katherine Young, Timothy Reber, Meghan Mooney, Kevin McCabe, Michelle Mullane, Michael Gleason

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Low-temperature geothermal resources in the United States potentially hold an enormous quantity of thermal energy, useful for direct use in residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural 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, enhanced geothermal systems) with varying temperature ranges and depths. This paper provides a summary and additional analysis of these assessments of shallow (3 km), lowtemperature (30°-150°C) geothermal resources in the United States that are 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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages735-748
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2016
EventGeothermal Resources Council 2016 Annual Meeting - Geothermal Energy Here and Now: Sustainable, Clean, Flexible, GRC 2016 - Sacramento, United States
Duration: 23 Oct 201626 Oct 2016

Conference

ConferenceGeothermal Resources Council 2016 Annual Meeting - Geothermal Energy Here and Now: Sustainable, Clean, Flexible, GRC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySacramento
Period23/10/1626/10/16

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-6A20-66461 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-68523

Keywords

  • Beneficial heat
  • Bottom-hole-temperature
  • Coastal plain
  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Delineated area
  • Direct use
  • EGS
  • Geothermal
  • Hot dry rock
  • Hydrothermal
  • Isolated
  • Low temperature
  • Megawatts thermal
  • NREL
  • Sedimentary basin
  • SMU

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