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Geothermal Energy

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In total, electrical plant construction and well drilling cost about €2–5 million per MW of electrical capacity, while the break–even price is 0. 04–0. 10 € per kW·h. Enhanced geothermal systems tend to be on the high side of these ranges, with capital costs above $4 million per MW and break–even above $0. 054 per kW·h in 2007. [41] Direct heating applications can use much shallower wells with lower temperatures, so smaller systems with lower costs and risks are feasible. Residential geothermal heat pumps with a capacity of 10  kilowatt (kW) are routinely installed for around $1–3,000 per  kilowatt. District heating systems may benefit from economies of scale if demand is geographically dense, as in cities and greenhouses, but otherwise, piping installation dominates capital costs. The capital cost of one such district heating system in Bavaria was estimated at somewhat over 1 million € per  MW. [42] Direct systems of any size are much simpler than electric generators and have lower maintenance costs per kW·h, but they must consume electricity to run pumps and compressors. Some governments subsidize geothermal projects.

The Energy Department launched the Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration (SubTER) Tech Team


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