Geothermal (or at least public handouts) attract big players

I haven't been too optimistic on geothermal power on this blog (here, here, here), but here at least is some marginally good news from the U.S. government's recent round of grants.
... what really caught our eye was how many big companies were looking for ways to participate. Oilfield service giants Baker Hughes and Schlumberger were given about $5 million each to develop drill bits, motors and other tools that can churn through rock at 300 degrees Celsius.

General Electric was awarded four grants for a combined $10.9 million to design various tools, fluids and pump parts to be used in different stages of turning hot water into electricity. Honeywell and Johnson Controls also got checks from Washington D.C.
I tend to believe that these types of large corporations are pretty hard-headed about how they spend money, making this a good sign. The realist in me points out that these are tiny amounts of money - easily small enough to be justified on PR grounds alone - and keep in mind these are grants, so no financial obligation (although there may be some associated R&D investment spend comitments)... so not worth reading too much into.

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