U.S Geothermal Energy Program five year research plan, 1986--1990. Draft of July 1986 Page: 11 of 82
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also of immediate importance. It recognizes the importance of a national
commitment to develop a balanced energy resource system by encouraging the
research and development of a broad range of energy options, including renew-
able energy, to provide the economy with a broader selection of competitive
energy supply choices.
To this end, the Federal approach, as enunciated in NEPP V, is to concen-
trate its attention on scientific and engineering research that promises a
better understanding of the characteristics of renewable energy resources, of
the technologies for collecting and converting these resources to useful forms,
and of the generic materials sciences to support industry development of reliable
and efficient systems. Federal funds will continue to be focused on university
and national laboratory research while encouraging increased cooperative R&D
with industry in bringing emerging technologies from the laboratory to the
point of development that will lead each participant to its own product-specific
Renewable energy is an inherently secure source of supply for the U.S.
overall, and, collectively, renewable technologies offer a significant long-term
opportunity for greater flexibility and diversity in the energy supply system,
thus promoting both competition and stability within the marketplace.
A number of renewable energy technologies that provide these advantages
are not yet a significant factor in the energy market. Additional R&D is re-
quired to confirm the feasibility of a number of these concepts. Long-term
cost and demand projections indicate that many of these options represent
attractive energy supply alternatives; however, the short-term outlook tends to
discourage renewable energy investment by industry. Accordingly, continued
Federal investment in renewable energy R&D appears prudent to ensure that a
reasonable number of renewable energy supply options are available to the
private sector in the long term.
Geothermal energy is one of the renewable (i.e., alternative) energy
resources for which Federal R&D participation is appropriate. The specific
role of geothermal resources and technologies within the broader context of
Federal R&D on all types of renewable energy has been established through a DOE
strategic evaluation of the energy contribution potential and technology readiness
of all forms of renewable energy. Details of that evaluation are presented in
Section III, Geothermal R&D Strategy.
Purpose and Activities
This Research Plan describes the DOE program to develop geothermal tech-
nology options in cooperation with industry. Other Federal agencies play
important complementary roles. For example, the Department of the Interior
assesses resource abundance, carries out research, evaluates environmental
impacts, and manages the production and utilization of geothermal energy on
Federally-owned lands, and the Department of Defense is actively engaged in
geothermal energy projects at several military installations.
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U.S Geothermal Energy Program five year research plan, 1986--1990. Draft of July 1986, report, July 1, 1986; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878652/m1/11/: accessed April 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.