Ball, PJ (2021) A Review of Geothermal Technologies and Their Role in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the USA. Journal of Energy Resources Technology-Transactions of the The ASME, 143 (1). ISSN 0195-0738

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A review of conventional, unconventional, and advanced geothermal technologies highlights just how diverse and multi-faceted the geothermal industry has become, harnessing temperatures from 7 °C to greater than 350 °C. The cost of reducing greenhouse emissions is examined in scenarios where conventional coal or combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants are abated. In the absence of a US policy on a carbon tax, the marginal abatement cost potential of these technologies is examined within the context of the social cost of carbon (SCC). The analysis highlights that existing geothermal heat and power technologies and emerging advanced closed-loop applications could deliver substantial cost-efficient baseload energy, leading to the long-term decarbonization. When considering an SCC of $25, in a 2025 development scenario, geothermal technologies ideally need to operate with full life cycle assessment (FLCA) emissions, lower than 50 kg(CO2)/MWh, and aim to be within the cost range of $30−60/MWh. At these costs and emissions, geothermal can provide a cost-competitive low-carbon, flexible, baseload energy that could replace existing coal and CCGT providing a significant long-term reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study confirms that geothermally derived heat and power would be well positioned within a diverse low-carbon energy portfolio. The analysis presented here suggests that policy and regulatory bodies should, if serious about lowering carbon emissions from the current energy infrastructure, consider increasing incentives for geothermal energy development.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript and all relevant information can be found online at;
Uncontrolled Keywords: alternative energy sources, geothermal energy, carbon abatement
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 12:31
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2021 14:20

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