The site-specific nature of geothermal plant cost, the relative maturity of hydrothermal plant technology, and the very early stage development of EGS technologies make cost projections difficult. No thorough literature reviews have been conducted for cost reduction of hydrothermal geothermal technologies or EGS technologies. However, the Geothermal Vision Study, which is sponsored by the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office, is currently underway and is likely to lead to industry-developed cost reduction estimates that could be included in a future ATB..
Projection of future geothermal plant CAPEX for the Low cost case is based on minimum learning rates as implemented in AEO (EIA 2015): 10% by 2035. This corresponds to a 0.5% annual improvement in CAPEX, which is assumed to continue on through 2050. The Mid cost case assumes a 0.25% annual improvement in CAPEX through 2050. The High cost case retains all cost and performance assumptions equivalent to the Base Year through 2050.
EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration). 2015. Annual Energy Outlook with Projections to 2040. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/EIA-0383(2015). April 2015. http://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/pdf/0383(2015).pdf.