From Open Energy Information
There are a number of different resource potential estimates that have been developed. A few are listed below.
In 2011, NREL conducted an analysis to characterize and represent the supply of electricity generation potential from geothermal resources in the United States. The principal products were:
- Capacity Potential Estimates - quantitative estimates of the potential electric capacity of U.S. geothermal resources
- Cost Estimates - the cost to develop those listed geothermal resources
- Geothermal Supply Curves - the two products were integrated to generate geothermal supply curves.
In 2011, the Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory develops several geothermal resource maps (available at Google.org):
- Heat Flow Maps depict the natural heat loss from the interior of Earth to the surface.
- Temperature-at-Depth Maps illustrate the estimated temperature at a given depth and are developed using BHT data.
- Geothermal Potential Estimates represent the amount of energy, typically expressed in megawatts (MW) that are available at a particular depth.
In 2008, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed an assessment of the geothermal resources in the U.S., which indicated:
- Identified Geothermal Potential - mean electric power generation potential from identified geothermal systems is 9,057 Megawatts- electric (MWe), distributed over 13 states.
- Undiscovered Geothermal Potential - mean estimated power production potential from undiscovered geothermal resources is 30,033 MWe.
- EGS Geothermal Potential = an estimated 517,800 MWe could be generated through implementation of technology for creating geothermal reservoirs in regions characterized by high temperature, but low permeability, rock formations.