Energy sources originating from beneath the Earth’s surface satisfy over 80% of total U.S. energy needs. Finding and effectively exploiting these resources while mitigating impacts of their use constitute major technical and socio-political challenges and opportunities.
Next generation advances in subsurface technologies will enable increases in domestic natural gas supplies, as well as more than 100 gigawatts equivalent (GWe) of clean, renewable geothermal energy.
The subsurface provides hundreds of years of safe storage capacity for carbon dioxide (CO2), and opportunities for environmentally responsible management and disposal of hazardous materials and other energy waste streams. The subsurface can also serve as a reservoir for energy storage for power produced from intermittent generation sources.
These opportunities have immediate connection to societal needs and administration priorities. Clean energy deployment and CO2 storage are critical components of the President’s Climate Action Plan, necessary to meet the 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. Increasing domestic energy supply from greater hydrocarbon resource recovery, in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner, are also Administration goals that enhance national security and fuel economic growth.