South Carolina Department of Natural Resources- Geological Surveys to play key role in geothermal energy search
November 18, 2009
The hunt for renewable geothermal energy just got a much needed shot in the arm. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu on Thursday announced awards totaling $338 million for geothermal energy across the country, including the population of a comprehensive nationwide geothermal resource data system by the nation’s State Geological Surveys to help identify and assess new fields.
The Association of American State Geologists (AASG – www.stategeologists.org), organized a coalition of 40 state geological surveys to populate a new National Geothermal Data System with relevant state-specific geothermal data. The project will receive $17.79 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) over 3 years (www.energy.gov/news2009/documents2009/338M_Geothermal_Project_Descriptions.pdf).
As a member of the coalition, the SCDNR- Geological Survey will be collecting data from across the state that will aid industry in the identification and development of geothermal energy, and integrating them into the National Geothermal Data System. State Geologist, Bill Clendenin said, “This project will help us understand the geothermal potential in South Carolina to an extent never possible before. It’s exciting to be part of this national effort among all the state geological surveys to address such a critical energy need for the state and the country.”
Compiling state-specific geothermal data in an integrated distributed and searchable data system should drive renewed efforts to identify, assess and exploit geothermal energy resources across America. This national collaboration of State and Federal agencies, universities, and industry, has the potential to reshape America’s energy landscape, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and leverage non-renewable petroleum resources well into the 21st Century.
AASG is already a partner in the Geothermal Data Coalition, based at Boise State University to design and build the National Geothermal Data System under contract to DOE. AASG member surveys will adapt the Geoscience Information Network (GIN - www.usgin.org) to provide data discovery, access, and exchange services as a component in the developing data system. Other components include a data repository, software applications, vocabularies, data content, network operations and communications, and web portals.
GIN is a collaboration between AASG and the U.S. Geological Survey to integrate geological survey data bases using web services and open source standards in a distributed system. The Arizona Geological Survey is the designated lead agency in building GIN for the nation’s geological surveys and will manage the DOE-funded effort for AASG to populate the NGDS.
The project announced Thursday includes the USGS, Microsoft Research, and the petroleum industry consortium, Energistics, Inc, as partners.
All of the 123 other geothermal projects announced yesterday are expected to integrate their data into the NGDS as well.