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Geothermal in the Midwest (2023)

Presented by:

  • Dr. Yu-Feng Forrest Lin, Director of Illinois Water Resources Center; Principal Research Hydrogeologist, Prairie Research Institute; Clinical Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Research Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Mr. Ryan Dougherty, President, Geothermal Exchange Organization, Springfield, IL
  • Dr. Andrew Stumpf, Principal Research Scientist, Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ms. Josiane Jello, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Mr. Frank Holcomb, Senior Researcher, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center - Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL), Champaign, IL
  • Dr. Tugce Baser, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

With a growing energy demand, transition from fossil fuels is needed to decarbonize energy systems. State and federal policy makers in Illinois and the Midwest are committed to implementing operational and technological solutions pursuant to these goals. Experts propose geothermal (geoexchange) energy as a solution that is renewable, low carbon, relatively inexpensive, reliable, and safe. This technology lends to better energy efficiency and conservation, green economic growth, repurposed workforce skills from the oil and gas industry, and environmental protection. Over time, the efficiency of geothermal systems has been improved and enhanced, making them stronger competitors in the renewable energy marketplace. The Illinois Geothermal Coalition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recently published a white paper, which examines technological solutions for geothermal energy, with a focus on building heating and cooling for residential, commercial, and educational sectors. This webinar will provide an overview of findings, explore a variety of geothermal applications for the various economic sectors in Illinois, and propose advanced technologies suitable for the U.S. Midwest, such as thermal energy storage and hybrid energy systems. State and local leaders, public/private organizations and professionals can expect to learn how policy could incentivize the deployment of geothermal energy technologies that meet the proposed targets and support an accelerated transition to a decarbonized economy.