Geothermal Technologies Program: Texas Page: 2 of 2
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captured as electricity without interfering
with current oil and gas production.
Abandoned wells also present a great
opportunity for geothermal development.
Data collection and well drilling are
major portions of the cost of geothermal
power development. Thus the use of
current well data and existing wells may
make it financially feasible to tap much
deeper geothermal resources than would
otherwise be possible. The University of
Texas of the Permian Basin is currently
studying gas well data to identify such
potential projects in West Texas.
Another possible energy source occurs
along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast,
where a large geopressure area extends
into the Gulf of Mexico. Relatively
unique high-pressure underground
natural gas resources pose technical
challenges, but offer three energy and
revenue sources: mechanical energy from
the pressurized natural gas, sale of the
gas, and heat from the geothermal brine.
The U.S. Department of Energy funded a
successful demonstration of such a project
from 1989-1991 at Pleasant Bayou, south
Preliminary data from a Southern
Methodist University Geothermal
Lab study indicates the possibility of
generating 500 MW to 2000 MW of
electricity from existing oil and gas wells
(McKenna et al, Oil and Gas Journal.
September 5, 2005, p. 39) or more
(Erdlac, personal communication). The
electricity could be used to offset the
oil and gas industry's own electrical
needs and surplus used by surrounding
Geothermal or ground-source heat
pumps are one of the most cost-effective
renewable energy technologies available
for buildings. By pumping a heat-
transfer fluid through a network of pipes
in the ground, they use the relatively
constant-temperature earth as a heat
source in the winter and a heat sink
in the summer, greatly reducing the
amount of energy needed for heating
and cooling. Schools, commercial
buildings, greenhouses, and aquaculture
are all prime potential beneficiaries of
ground-source heat pump installation.
Texas has increased its renewable
portfolio standard (RPS) to now require
electric utilities to generate 5,880
megawatts of power from renewable
energy, including geothermal, by 2015
and 10,000 megawatts by 2025.
As part of the U .S. Department of
Energy GeoPowering the West Program,
the State of Texas Energy Conservation
Office is coordinating an initiative
through the Southern Methodist
University Department of Geological
Sciences Geothermal Lab to develop a
statewide geothermal energy program.
The Energy Conservation Office is also
working with the Center for Energy
and Economic Diversification of the
University of Texas at the Permian
Basin on geothermal research.
GeoPowering the West is a cooperative
federal, state, and local effort to promote
awareness of the vast geothermal energy
resources in the western United States,
including Alaska and Hawaii. GeoPowering
the West partners with businesses,
government officials, Native American
groups, utilities, and energy consumers
to expand the use of geothermal energy.
For more information contact:
EERE Information Center
www. eere. energy. gov
Southern Methodist University Geothermal
David Blackwell (214) 768-2745
Maria Richards (214) 768-1975
Texas State Energy Conservation Office
Pam Groce (512) 463-1889
University of Texas Permian Basin CEED
Richard Erdlac (432) 552-2442
Texas Bureau of Economic Geology
Scott Tinker, Director (512) 471-0209
U.S. Department of Energy
GeoPowering the West
Roger Hill, Technical Director, (505) 844-6111
Produced for the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Deparbnent of Energy
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585
By the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
a DOE National Laboratory
Printed with a renewable source ink on paper containing at
least 50% wastepaper, including 10% postconsumer waste.
For more information, visit www.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/gpw/ or call 1-877-EERE-INF
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Geothermal Technologies Program: Texas, report, April 1, 2006; Golden, Colorado. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc885583/m1/2/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.