Exploration Cost and Time Metric
The Exploration Cost and Time Metric is a collaborative effort between government and industry designed to display the cumulative impact to exploration cost and time from one or multiple RD&D efforts. The baseline has been developed from industry research and was vetted through geothermal exploration experts as a useful baseline from which to measure funding impacts.
About the NREL 2012 Baseline
The NREL 2012 Baseline Exploration Suite (Baseline) was created to define a list of exploration methods which would represent a typical 30MWe hydrothermal exploration program. NREL used J.D Walker's 2005 GRC submission, Development of Genetic Occurrence Models for Geothermal Prospecting, as the initial starting point for the Baseline. NREL also interviewed 4 geothermal exploration experts to critique the Baseline, with the overall conclusion that the Baseline represents a typical exploration program, within a reasonable range. The biggest differences between the experts lie within phase 4. While the NREL baseline accounts for a total phase 4 cost of $6.85M, the experts that were interviewed gave values of between $1.5M and $10M. The differences lie in how much Core Hole Drilling is performed, as well as how many Slim Holes are drilled prior to production drilling. In areas where there were significant differences between experts, mean values were taken into account and in some cases assumptions were made due to a lack of collected data.
For more details on assumptions, and the creation of the Cost and Time Tool see the 2013 Stanford Geothermal Workshop publication : Development of Metric for Measuring the Impact of RD&D Funding on GTO's Geothermal Exploration Goals