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IEA Releases 2020 U.S. Geothermal Report

June 17, 2021
This annual report is authored by GTO and published by the IEA Geothermal Technical Collaboration Program.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) today announced the publication of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2020 U.S. Geothermal Report.

This annual report is authored by GTO and published by the IEA Geothermal Technical Collaboration Program (TCP) alongside companion reports from other geothermally-active nations. Collectively these country reports provide a comprehensive view of international geothermal capacity and usage, as well as an assessment of current and recent RD&D initiatives. In addition to geothermal power production and direct use, the IEA report includes data on geothermal heat pump (GHP) deployment and usage.

“I am proud of what geothermal is and excited about where it’s going. Sharing the geothermal narrative with new stakeholders as we embark on a new geothermal chapter is critical, and the contents of the IEA reports are central to that story,” said Dr. Susan Hamm, Director, GTO.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The United States in 2020 remained the leader in installed geothermal capacity with approximately 3.673 gigawatts (GW); this represents close to 25% of the world’s total online capacity. More than 90% of this capacity is in California and Nevada.
  • Current geothermal contribution to U.S. energy capacity is less than 1%; however, the potential is more than 8% by 2050.
  • Geothermal heat pumps maintain approximately 3% annual growth in the U.S., with current installations exceeding 1.7 million units. About 40% of installations are residential; the other 60% are commercial or institutional. Most growth continues to occur in the central and eastern states.
  • Total installed capacity for geothermal direct use is 485 megawatts thermal (MWth); total installed capacity for GHPs is 20.7 GW.
  • Estimated U.S. geothermal power resource potential is approximately 530 GW; estimated potential for direct use is 231 GW by 2050, including as many as 17,500 district heating and cooling systems.
  • As identified in the DOE’s GeoVision study, improved technologies could help increase domestic geothermal power generation nearly 26-fold by 2050 – reaching 60 GW of always-on, baseload energy capacity.

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