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Open innovation on multiple technologies could be key pushing geothermal development

Applying multiple technologies and open innovation is key in the successful deployment of deep geothermal, so Aaron Mandell of AltaRock Energy in another opinion piece here on ThinkGeoEnergy.

In this third piece, published in collaboration with Aaron Mandell of AltaRock Energy, he describes on how open innovation in geothermal might be a key driver of development going forward.

He describes an increase in technical collaboration as the third (and final) element to the successful deployment of deep geothermal. By virtue of the limited market adoption of geothermal, the level of collaboration amongst U.S. technologists is extremely low compared to other industries. The DOE’s FORGE program (https://www.energy.gov/eere/forge/forge-home) is a step in the right direction, but not nearly enough. While FORGE is focused on basic research, more is needed to foster collaborative efforts around early-stage technologies that are ready for field deployment (i.e. the so called “valley of death”). This is especially important in an industry like geothermal where the lack of a strong innovation cycle cuts off the ‘feedback loop’ that would normally catalyze technology collaboration. Over time, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; innovations slows, market demand slides and there is less and less opportunity for innovators to capitalize by partnering.