An Overview of the U.S. Department of Energy's GeoVision Report: Preprint

Chad Augustine, Susan Hamm, Coryne Tasca, Jeffrey Winick

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) engaged in a multiyear research collaboration among national laboratories, industry experts, and academia to identify a vision for growth of the domestic geothermal industry across a range of geothermal energy types. The effort, called the GeoVision analysis, assessed opportunities to expand geothermal energy deployment by improving technologies, reducing costs, and mitigating barriers. The analysis also evaluated the economic and environmental impacts of such deployment - including industry growth, consumer energy prices, water use, and air emissions - and investigated opportunities for desalination, mineral recovery, and hybridization with other energy technologies for greater efficiencies and lower costs. The GeoVision analysis used a suite of modeling tools and scenarios to evaluate the performance of geothermal technologies relative to other energy technologies. The assessment included evaluating the potential role of existing and future geothermal deployment in both the electric sector and the heating and cooling sector. In the electric sector, the GeoVision analysis considered electricity generation from existing conventional (hydrothermal) geothermal resources as well as unconventional geothermal resources, such as enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). In the heating and cooling sector, the analysis modeled geothermal heat pumps (GHPs, also called ground source heat pumps) and district-heating systems using both conventional and EGS resources. The analysis culminated in a summary report, GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet (DOE 2019), as well as eight supporting task force reports (Lowry et al. 2017, Doughty et al. 2018, Wendt et al. 2018, Augustine et al. 2019, Liu et al. 2019, McCabe et al. 2019, Millstein et al. 2019, Young et al. 2019). Among other results, key findings of the analysis indicate that optimized permitting could potentially double geothermal capacity by 2050; technology improvements could increase geothermal power generation nearly 26-fold from today; and increased geothermal deployment can provide economic and environmental benefits to the United States. The analysis also concludes that GHPs can provide heating and cooling solutions to the equivalent of 28 million households and geothermal district-heating systems could experience exponential growth - from 21 installations today to 17,500 nationwide. In addition to summarizing analytical results about geothermal energy opportunities, the report includes a Roadmap of actionable items on which the stakeholder community can engage to achieve the outcomes of the analysis. The GeoVision Roadmap is a comprehensive call to action to encourage and guide stakeholders toward the shared goal of realizing the deployment levels and resulting benefits identified in the GeoVision analysis.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2019
EventGeothermal Resources Council (GRC) Annual Meeting and Expo - Palm Springs, California
Duration: 15 Sep 201918 Sep 2019


ConferenceGeothermal Resources Council (GRC) Annual Meeting and Expo
CityPalm Springs, California

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5700-78589 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-74378


  • barriers
  • direct use
  • district heating
  • geothermal heat pumps
  • geothermal power
  • GeoVision
  • market analysis
  • policy
  • regulation
  • techno-economic analysis


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