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US Geothermal Industry Gets Huge Resource "Datapalooza" Boost

In order to move the nearly stagnant U.S. geothermal market along, the industry needs help identifying viable resources. The Department of Energy (DOE) has been hard at work developing a tool that will help this process, and recently announced the official launch of its National Geothermal Data System (NGDS).

NGDS is part of President Obama's Open Data Policy initiative and was released during the White House Energy Datapalooza in Washington, D.C., which "highlight[s] private-sector entrepreneurs and innovators that are using freely available data from the government and other sources to build products, services, and apps that advance a secure and clean energy future."

In what the DOE hopes will “change America’s energy portfolio" and accelerate the geothermal industry, NGDS aggregates state geological surveys from across the country into an organized information hub. This data includes more than 650,000 well logs, 530,000 borehole temperatures, and 1.7 million oil, gas, water and geothermal well headers from all 50 states.

The $21.9 million project that was funded by the DOE gives users access to existing data and also allows them to contribute their own data into the system, which means data is regularly updated and maintained. Today, it boasts more than 9 million data points and is still growing. Potential stakeholders can use its interactive map to locate resources geographically, a library to filter data records by keyword, and other resoucres that include other open-source applications that can iteract with NGDS data, such as other exploration tools like the National Renewable Eenergy Laboratory's geothermal prospector, or financial tools like the Geothermal Financial Risk Classification and Assessment Tool (GeoFRAT).

According to the DOE, NGDS users will be able to better: 

  • Determine geothermal potential
  • Guide exploration and development
  • Make data-driven policy decisions
  • Minimize development risks
  • Understand how geothermal activities affect your community and the environment
  • Guide investments

Watch the video series below on several beneficial ways to use the database:

Lead image: Data concept via Shutterstock

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