Report: The Future of Geothermal in Texas

The Future of Geothermal in Texas report is an interdisciplinary, cross-entity, and multi-author exploration of the size and nature of the geothermal opportunity in the State of Texas, bringing together lead and supporting authors who are subject matter experts across more than twenty fields of study, from geophysics and well construction to public policy and economics.

The report builds on prior work of its authors, as well as contemporary works in geothermal energy, and will be published in late 2022 in an engaging format suitable for public engagement.

The report is supported by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and the Educational Foundation of America.

For additional information, contact Brett Holmes at or (713) 244-4178.

Preliminary Report Outline

  1. From Hydrocarbons to Heat: The Texas Geothermal Opportunity
  2. Texas Gelogies and Regions Ripe for Geothermal Development
    1. Overview of Texas Geology and Thermal Conditions
    2. Review of Previous Studies and Heat Mapping
    3. Geothermal in Sedimentary Basins
    4. Other Settings
    5. County by County Analysis
  3. Scalable Geothermal Concepts
    1. Overview of the Opportunity
    2. Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS)
    3. Closed-Loop Geothermal (CLG)
  4. Other Concepts with Unique applications in Texas
    1. Low Enthalpy Geothermal applications, Well Reprurposing, and Co-Production
    2. Geothermal Powered Direct Air Capture Systems and Green Hydrogen
    3. Coproduction/Mineral Extraction from Brine
  5. Decarbonization of Industrial Processes/Direct Use Heat
    1. Refining and Petrochemical Industry Overview
    2. The Transition to Geothermal
    3. Environmental Concerns and Benefits
    4. The Future of Refining in a Carbon-Constrained World
    5. Direct Use Heat Economics
  6. The Oil and Gas Industry Role
    1. Technologies, Assets, Skills Transfer
    2. Geothermal Technology Roadmap
    3. Cost Targets and Scale
    4. Collaboration and Innovation Models/Oil and Gas, Geothermal
    5. Timeline and Projections
  7. Economic Impact, Cost Modeling and LCOE
    1. Jobs and Texas Workforce
    2. Land Use Trade-offs and Co-Location with Existing Infrastructure
  8. Policy, Incentives, and Regulatory Considerations
    1. Government Incentives and Policy Solutions -Learnings from O&G and Renewables in Texas
    2. Models for R&D Investment
    3. Regulatory Barriers and Framework for Action
  9. State Stakeholders: Implications and Opportunities
    1. University Lands
    2. Texas General Lands
  10. Environmental Considerations
    1. Subsurface exploration
    2. Power Plant Operations
    3. Comparing Surface Impacts with Renewable and Fossil Energy
    4. Conclusions
  11. Geothermal and Other Texas Strategic Interests
    1. Space Exploration and NASA
    2. Defense
  12. Concluding Remarks and Roadmap for Action

Lead Authors (in ABC order)

Jamie C. Beard, Esq.

Executive Director, Geothermal Entrepreneurship Organization

Dr. Sergio Kapusta

Executive Director, Rice Energy and Environment Initiative; Professor, ChemicalEngineering, Rice University

Dr. Silviu Livescu

Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering, University of Texas
at Austin

Dr. Varun Rai

Associate Dean for Research; Professor of Public Affairs;
Director, Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin

Rebecca Schulz

Consultant, World Energy Outlook, International Energy Agency

Dr. Michael Webber

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Ken Wisian, U.S. Major General (Retired)

Associate Director, Environmental Division, Bureau of Economic
Geology; Technical Co-Investigator, GEO, University of Texas at

Dr. Michael H. Young

Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology
University of Texas at Austin

Funding Partners 

Drew Nelson

Clean Energy Program Officer, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

David Monsma

Environmental Program Manager, The Educational Foundation of America

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© 2012-2022 Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.