This geothermal visual gives the total nameplate capacity of geothermal energy in megawatts as counted in the U.S. from 1971 through 2013, and the timeline is marked where enacted policies coincided with periods of sector growth. Coordination between government, regulatory policy, and the geothermal industry was a key factor that helped the total reach 3,440 MW capacity as of the end of 2013. GEA staff Ben Matek summarizes how these well-constructed programs and clearly written policies helped facilitate periods of rapid expansion:
The relationship between geothermal power and carefully-deliberated government policy continues as current public-private initiatives, such as the Salton Sea Restoration & Renewable Energy Initiative in Imperial Valley, California, could lead to another uptick in U.S. geothermal growth in the near future.
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