Geothermal Visual: GEA Urges EPA to Include Geothermal in Clean Energy Incentive Program

As part of the Clean Power Plan, EPA has proposed an early incentive program to reward investments in renewable energy generation (PDF). The proposal, however, only includes some renewable technologies and while wind and solar are included, geothermal is not. GEA’s Executive Director, Karl Gawell made in-person comments at a recent Clean Air Advisory Committee meeting urging that geothermal should be included in the early incentive program.

A fact sheet distributed by Gawell said, in part: “There are a significant amount of geothermal projects under development that, if provided market incentives, could help states meet their Clean Power Plan goals. Including these projects in eligibility for the Clean Energy Incentive Plan (CEIP) would spur continued geothermal development, result in emissions reductions that would not otherwise occur, and provide a sustained market for geothermal power development.”

Gawell noted that the proposal’s emphasis to provide double credits for efficiency investments aimed at low-income households might also be re-considered. He pointed out to the Committee that one of the largest undeveloped geothermal resources in the U.S is the Salton Sea, located in Imperial County that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. But, ironically, expansion of this resource that would benefit a community with income needs would not be able to qualify. “The program needs some re-thinking,” Gawell said.

EPA is expected to complete the public comments process in mid-December and then publish any changes. EPA has invited written responses to the non-regulatory docket established for this purpose, and will accept input, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0734 through December 15, 2015. To submit a response, use one of the following methods:

  • Go to and follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Send comments by e-mail to
  • Fax your comments to: (202) 566-9744.
  • Mail your comments to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460.

For more information go to

Lead image: Clean energy concept. Credit: Shutterstock.

This article was originally published in the GEA’s GeoEnergyWire and was republished with permission.

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Leslie is located in Washington DC at the Office of the Geothermal Energy Association and serves on the Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo committee.

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