Geothermal Hydrogen Production

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Geothermal hydrogen production involves using geothermal energy to power the process of electrolysis, which splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. This approach offers a clean and sustainable pathway to green hydrogen production, utilizing renewable geothermal energy instead of fossil fuels.

Impact on climate action

Geothermal Hydrogen Production within Geothermal Energy transforms climate action by offering a renewable hydrogen source. Harnessing geothermal heat to electrolyze water, this innovation produces hydrogen without carbon emissions. It accelerates the shift towards a hydrogen economy, reduces reliance on fossil fuels, and mitigates climate change impacts.


  • Geothermal Energy Source: Geothermal energy can be sourced from various types of geothermal resources, including hydrothermal reservoirs, EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems), and shallow geothermal energy.
  • Electrolyzers: Electrolyzers use electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through an electrochemical process. Different types of electrolyzers exist, including PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzers and alkaline electrolyzers.
  • Power Conversion Systems (PCS): PCS convert the electricity generated from geothermal resources into the appropriate form (e.g., DC or AC) for powering the electrolyzers.
  • Hydrogen Storage and Distribution: The produced hydrogen needs to be stored and distributed for various applications, such as transportation, power generation, or industrial processes.

TRL : 6-7

Prominent Innovation themes

  • High-Temperature Electrolysis: High-temperature electrolysis utilizes heat from geothermal resources to improve the efficiency of the electrolysis process, reducing electricity consumption and lowering production costs.
  • Integrated Geothermal-Electrolysis Systems: Companies are developing integrated systems that combine geothermal power generation with electrolysis, maximizing resource utilization and creating a more efficient and cost-effective hydrogen production process.
  • Electrolyzer Stack Design and Materials: Innovations in electrolyzer stack design and materials are improving the performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness of electrolyzers.
  • Hydrogen Storage and Distribution Infrastructure: Advancements in hydrogen storage and distribution technologies, such as compressed hydrogen storage, liquid hydrogen storage, and hydrogen pipelines, are essential for enabling the widespread adoption of green hydrogen.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Integrated Geothermal-Electrolysis Systems
  • Geothermal Hydrogen Storage
  • Carbon-Neutral Hydrogen from Geothermal
  • High-Temperature Electrolysis Innovations
  • Integrated Geothermal-Electrolysis Systems
  • Advanced Electrolyzer Stack Designs
  • Hybrid Geothermal-Hydrogen Systems
  • Geothermal-Powered Hydrogen Refueling Stations
  • Smart Geothermal Grid Integration
  • Renewable Hydrogen Supply Chains
  • Geothermal Resource Mapping Techniques
  • Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems
  • Geothermal Heat Exchanger Innovations
  • Hydrogen Distribution Network Enhancements
  • Next-Gen Geothermal Drilling Technologies
  • Geothermal Hydrogen Pilot Projects
  • Advanced Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
  • Sustainable Hydrogen Production Catalysts

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. Eavor Technologies:
    • Technology Enhancement: Eavor Technologies is known for its innovative closed-loop geothermal energy system, called the Eavor-Loop, which harnesses geothermal energy for electricity generation and other applications. Their system involves drilling deep wells to access hot rock formations, circulating a working fluid to capture heat, and utilizing it to generate electricity or produce hydrogen through electrolysis.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Eavor Technologies stands out for its closed-loop geothermal technology, which eliminates the need for hydraulic fracturing and surface infrastructure, making it more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than conventional geothermal systems. Their approach to geothermal energy production can also enable direct hydrogen production from geothermal heat, offering a sustainable pathway for hydrogen generation.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Eavor Technologies targets energy producers, utilities, and industrial customers seeking renewable energy solutions. Their geothermal hydrogen production technology could serve as a clean and reliable source of hydrogen for various applications, including transportation, industry, and energy storage.
  2. Fervo Energy:
    • Technology Enhancement: Fervo Energy specializes in advanced geothermal energy systems and reservoir engineering techniques. Their approach involves enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technology, which utilizes hydraulic fracturing and other stimulation techniques to increase the permeability and productivity of geothermal reservoirs. Fervo Energy aims to harness geothermal heat to generate electricity and produce hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Fervo Energy stands out for its focus on EGS technology and its potential to unlock untapped geothermal resources for renewable energy production. By leveraging advanced reservoir engineering and subsurface modeling techniques, they aim to maximize the efficiency and sustainability of geothermal energy extraction, enabling cost-effective hydrogen production from geothermal sources.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Fervo Energy serves energy developers, utilities, and industrial customers seeking scalable and reliable renewable energy solutions. Their geothermal hydrogen production technology could provide a carbon-free alternative to conventional hydrogen production methods, meeting the needs of industries transitioning to low-carbon energy sources.
  3. Geothermal Development Associates (GDA):
    • Technology Enhancement: Geothermal Development Associates (GDA) is a leading developer of geothermal energy projects and geothermal power plants. Their expertise spans geothermal exploration, resource assessment, well drilling, and power plant design and operation. GDA aims to utilize geothermal heat to generate electricity and produce hydrogen, leveraging proven technologies and industry experience.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: GDA stands out for its extensive experience and track record in the geothermal industry, having developed numerous geothermal projects worldwide. Their focus on integrating geothermal energy with hydrogen production reflects their commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: GDA serves utilities, government agencies, and private developers interested in harnessing geothermal energy for power generation and hydrogen production. Their geothermal hydrogen production projects could benefit regions with abundant geothermal resources, providing clean and reliable energy for local communities and industries.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):
    • Research Focus: NREL is a leading research institution in the field of renewable energy, including geothermal energy. Their work on Geothermal Hydrogen Production involves investigating novel approaches to harness geothermal resources for hydrogen production through thermochemical water splitting, high-temperature electrolysis, or hybrid systems.
    • Uniqueness: NREL’s research emphasizes the integration of geothermal energy with hydrogen production technologies to leverage the heat and pressure of geothermal reservoirs for efficient and sustainable hydrogen generation. They explore advanced materials, reactor designs, and process optimization strategies to enhance conversion efficiency, reduce costs, and increase the scalability of geothermal hydrogen production systems.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in clean hydrogen production for transportation, industry, and power generation. By unlocking the potential of geothermal energy for hydrogen production, NREL’s research contributes to decarbonizing the economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and enhancing energy security.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Research Focus: MIT is renowned for its expertise in energy research and innovation. Their research on Geothermal Hydrogen Production focuses on developing advanced geothermal-to-hydrogen conversion technologies, including direct thermal water splitting, geothermal-driven electrolysis, and hybrid geothermal-hydrogen systems.
    • Uniqueness: MIT’s research encompasses theoretical modeling, experimental validation, and techno-economic analysis to assess the feasibility, performance, and cost-effectiveness of different geothermal hydrogen production pathways. They investigate novel materials, catalysts, and reactor configurations to optimize energy conversion efficiency and operational flexibility while addressing technical challenges and environmental concerns.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in off-grid hydrogen production, energy storage, and renewable fuel synthesis. By leveraging geothermal resources for hydrogen production, MIT’s research supports the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon energy system, enabling the widespread adoption of hydrogen as a clean and versatile energy carrier.
  3. Stanford University:
    • Research Focus: Stanford University conducts innovative research on Geothermal Hydrogen Production, drawing on its multidisciplinary expertise in geosciences, chemical engineering, and renewable energy systems. Their research aims to develop scalable and cost-effective approaches for harnessing geothermal energy for hydrogen generation.
    • Uniqueness: Stanford’s research spans geothermal exploration, reservoir engineering, and hydrogen production technologies, with a focus on integrating geothermal heat extraction with advanced electrolysis or thermochemical processes. They explore innovative heat exchanger designs, fluid dynamics modeling, and heat-to-hydrogen conversion pathways to maximize resource utilization and minimize environmental impacts.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in remote communities, industrial clusters, and renewable hydrogen hubs. By advancing geothermal hydrogen production technologies, Stanford’s research contributes to decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors, enhancing energy resilience, and fostering regional economic development.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Geothermal hydrogen production is still in its early stages of commercialization, but several demonstration and pilot projects are underway. For example, the GeoH2 project in Iceland is a pilot project that is exploring the use of geothermal energy to produce hydrogen for transportation applications.