Tuesday, December 17, 2019

USA, Washington D.C.: Federal Budget Awards $69,000,000 for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Programs

Congressional negotiators this evening unveiled a $1.4 trillion year-end package that would boost spending for energy and environmental agencies.

The House is expected to pass the legislation tomorrow to fund agencies for the remainder of fiscal 2020, with the Senate expected to follow suit later this week.

The deal would avert a government shutdown or need for another stopgap spending measure when current funding lapses at midnight Friday.

The following statement to the House of Representatives and the Senate is submitted in explanation of the agreed upon Act making appropriations for geothermal technologies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes.

Geothermal Technologies. The agreement provides $69,000,000 for Enhanced Geothermal Systems. The agreement provides $20,000,000 for the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), with activities to include ongoing novel subsurface characterization, full-scale well drilling, and technology research and development to accelerate the commercial pathway to large-scale enhanced geothermal systems power generation. Not later than 60 days after enactment of this Act, the Department shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress a briefing on the current status, research agenda, use by outside entities, and decommissioning plans for FORGE.

Within available funds, $10,000,000 is provided to fund at least one demonstration project in an area with no obvious surface expression. The Department is further directed to fund at least one demonstration of geothermal technologies for innovative distribution of heat through ground-source heating
and cooling of district heating.

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