Summary: S.2657 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate (12/17/2019)

Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act of 2019 or the AGILE Act of 2019

This bill provides support for research and development of geothermal energy, including enhanced (i.e., engineered) geothermal systems.

The bill reauthorizes through FY2024 funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for (1) a research and development program for geothermal energy, and (2) a grant program for geothermal development in places with high utility prices.

In addition, the bill directs DOE to

  • support an initiative to adapt technologies from the oil and gas sector for use in geothermal energy development;
  • support within the Geothermal Technologies Office a program of research, development, and demonstration for geothermal heat pumps and the direct use of geothermal energy;
  • carry out a competition that awards prizes for demonstrating the coproduction of critical minerals and geothermal energy;
  • establish and operate a voluntary, industry-wide repository of geothermal drilling information to lower the cost of future geothermal drilling; and
  • support two Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy sites.

This bill revises requirements governing the amount of renewable energy that the federal government must purchase. Specifically, the bill allows thermal energy to qualify as renewable energy under the federal renewable energy purchase requirement.

The Department of the Interior must establish a Geothermal Energy Permitting Coordination Program. Under the program, Interior must increase the expertise of officials administering and approving permits in order to improve coordination and reduce timelines for reviewing permits for geothermal energy projects on federal land.

In addition, Interior must establish national goals for geothermal energy capacity on public land. The Bureau of Land Management must take necessary actions to facilitate geothermal energy development. The bill sets forth requirements concerning (1) the production of geothermal energy on federal lands that are producing oil or gas under an existing lease, and (2) drilling projects to test or explore for geothermal resources.

The U.S. Geological Survey must update its U.S. geothermal resource assessment.