Baseload, Geothermal

Trade Group Outlines Benefits of Geothermal in Paper for Trump Administration

The Geothermal Energy Association last week said that it shared a paper on the benefits of geothermal energy with President Donald Trump’s transition team.

In the paper, “Geothermal is Good for America,” GEA said that there are 104 operating geothermal plants in the U.S. with a capacity of 3.7 GW, and there are more than 80 new projects in development.

“Geothermal delivers a triple bottom line to our energy system: It is an abundant domestic energy source, it brings economic benefits in the form of taxes and long-term, high-paying jobs, and it has one of the lowest Levelized Costs of Energy of all power sources in the United States,” the paper said.

The paper also identified opportunities in extracting minerals from geothermal brines as new sources of lithium, zinc, manganese, potash and rare earth minerals, now dominated by China.

“We hope the new Administration will recognize the benefits of geothermal energy,” Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association, said in a Jan. 19 statement. “Their leadership in addressing some of the daunting obstacles facing geothermal development could mean positive change for the industry.”

The paper noted that the US position as a leader in geothermal energy development is slipping due to “asymmetrical market-subsidies” that have “undercut new US geothermal development.”

GEA said in the paper that expansion of geothermal development in the US will require risk reduction in drilling and exploration; tax code certainty; and permit streamlining on public lands.

Lead image credit: Rjglewis, Own work. CC BY-SA 3.0