California Advised to Adopt 50% Renewable Power Goal

At the opening session of the California Geothermal Summit held at the University of California (UC) Davis Alumni Center, the head of the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) told state energy officials that California should set a goal of producing 50 percent of its energy from renewable energy resources by 2025.

“California officials, including the Governor, talk about driving vehicles powered with new fuels, but they need to make the commitment to produce those fuels in California using 100 percent renewable energy,” said Karl Gawell, executive director of GEA. To achieve the 50 percent renewable energy goal, Gawell called upon the state to expand its use of geothermal energy for direct uses, such as heating buildings and installing geothermal heat pumps, tenfold within 20 years. He called for a “Green-G” certification program to recognize and encourage more geothermal use by homes, businesses and schools across the state. Gawell urged California to “clean-up the power grid and avoid having to build new nuclear power plants by tapping the state’s underutilized natural advantage — its geothermal resources.” According to Gawell, 25 percent of the state’s system power should come from geothermal resources by 2025. Doing so would add capacity and improve the reliability of the state’s power system, he pointed out. “The technical potential for geothermal energy in California and nearby areas exceeds the state’s total electricity demand today, and the total electricity demand expected in the coming decades,” Gawell told the audience. “It’s time the state utilized its natural advantage in geothermal energy.”

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