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alternative fuels reliable and always on: unlocking the next generation of geothermal energy

2 min read | september 13, 2023

You may have heard about one of the hottest trends (literally) in energy today: geothermal. It involves using the Earth’s heat to generate heat and electricity. At Chevron, we’re looking to use geothermal energy to help lower the carbon intensity of our operations. We’re partnering with innovators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and governments to explore possibilities and develop and scale promising new technologies.

what’s new

We’re drawing on our expertise in sub-surface earth sciences with wells, drilling and more to evaluate innovations and projects in this exciting, emerging energy source.

Earlier conventional technology was constrained by geography and required finding exactly the right spot. New technologies—known as novel geothermal—let us harness the Earth’s energy from just about anywhere.

Employing and testing these technologies is best done with our partners, who can help us reduce risk and speed up commercialization:

  • We’ve formed a joint venture with Baseload Capital to pursue opportunities in the United States, with our first project expected to launch in Nevada this year.
  • We’re collaborating with Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Ltd to pilot a key novel geothermal technology in Japan.
  • We’re teaming up with Pertamina, the largest energy company in Indonesia, to study the possibility of powering a green hydrogen plant with geothermal energy.
“We’re following a pilots-to-projects strategy with the intent to de-risk, commercialize and scale geothermal technology. We have the capabilities to unlock the next generation of geothermal.”

srimonto ghosh
marketing & sales general manager, Chevron New Energies

There’s also a growing need for reliable, clean energy across industries, so we’re exploring commercializing geothermal beyond our own operations.

why it matters

Geothermal doesn’t depend on the sun shining or the wind blowing. It’s reliable, abundant and continuously available. Because of this, it’s an excellent candidate to support our efforts to lower the carbon intensity of our own operations and enable lower carbon value chains.

That includes using geothermal energy to produce hydrogen and to capture and store carbon dioxide.

Hydrogen is a lower carbon fuel, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage is expected to be a critical component of lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

“We believe that the next generation of geothermal technologies are a very good fit with our skills and capabilities, and we can truly unlock and scale geothermal for wider use.”

srimonto ghosh

marketing & sales general manager, Chevron New Energies

experience matters

This isn’t our first foray into geothermal energy. Previously, we had conventional geothermal assets that required discovering exact locations with ideal conditions—heat, fluid to carry the heat and permeability, so the heat has a path to travel back to the surface. These are typically places like hot springs and geysers.

Our current pursuits are focused on novel geothermal technologies that don’t limit us by geology or sub-surface conditions. These new technologies allow us to access the Earth’s heat without the need for ideal locations or conditions. With the novel geothermal technologies, such as advanced closed loop and enhanced geothermal, we can simulate the right conditions, allowing us to harness the Earth’s heat from almost anywhere closer to the customer.

We also continue to work with conventional methods. They can still be valuable in the right locations and provide lower carbon solutions. Our plan is to use the right technology based on the specific needs and conditions of the site.

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