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Geothermal Market Simulation and Analysis

NREL modelers evaluate geothermal resources and grid and market conditions to simulate the evolution of the U.S. electricity sector, estimate market demand for distributed technologies, and support grid operations and planning.

Generic charts and data tables.
NREL's market simulations identify ways to support increased geothermal development in future energy markets.


  • Development and simulation of power system models using PLEXOS, a mathematical optimization tool for simulating transmission systems
  • Capacity planning modeling for the power sector using the Regional Energy Deployment System, a tool for simulating electricity sector investment decisions based on system constraints and demands for energy and ancillary services
  • Distributed generation market modeling using the Distributed Generation Market Demand Model, a tool for simulating customer adoption of distributed energy resources and analyzing factors that will affect market demand for distributed systems
  • High-performance computing for application of geothermal simulation and analysis tools
  • Transmission system planning
  • Transmission and distribution system cosimulation

Power System Modeling

NREL leverages a variety of power system modeling tools to inform a range of electricity sector research questions. By incorporating data on renewable resources, grid and market conditions, clean energy policy, and technology innovation, analysis can identify barriers for targeted research to support geothermal development in future energy markets.

Distributed Systems Modeling

NREL’s suite of distributed systems models includes the Distributed Geothermal Market Demand (dGeo) Model, a tool for exploring the role of geothermal distributed energy resources (such as geothermal heat pumps and district heating systems) in meeting thermal energy demands in the United States. dGeo can provide analytical value to stakeholders interested in exploring the effects of techno-economic, macro-economic, financial, and policy factors.


GeoVision Analysis Supporting Task Force Report: Electric Sector Potential to Penetration, NREL Technical Report (2019) NREL/TP-6A20-71833

GeoVision Analysis Supporting Task Force Report: Thermal Applications Quantifying Technical, Economic, and Market Potential of Geothermal District Heating Systems in the United States, NREL Technical Report (2019)

GeoVision Analysis Supporting Task Force Report: Thermal Applications— Geothermal Heat Pumps, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Technical Report (2019)


Kevin McCabe

Modeling and Reservoir Engineer