In an effort to bolster the nation’s baseload energy, the Energy Department (DOE) will release $14.5 million for research on innovative geothermal energy technologies. The Efficient Drilling for Geothermal Energy (EDGE) funding opportunity aims to expand geothermal capacity by at least 100 gigawatts (GW).

“Advancing research in geothermal drilling technologies will help harness the heat beneath our feet to expand our domestic energy resources,” said Daniel Simmons, principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “Geothermal is a reliable, baseload renewable energy source with firm and flexible operation, allowing it to provide a range of essential services that contribute to our nation’s grid stability and resiliency.”

Geothermal energy uses heat from thousands of feet below the earth’s surface to provide a clean, efficient energy source. Currently, the U.S. only has 3.8 GW of installed geothermal capacity. DOE’S Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) supports early-stage research and development needed to make the process cost-effective.

EDGE funding targets obstacles to installing geothermal energy, seeking to reduce delays and improve drilling penetration. The DOE also seeks innovative partnerships in implementing geothermal energy.

Applicants must submit a concept paper by May 31 to be eligible to submit a full application. More information on EDGE can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange or on the Geothermal Technologies Office.