Transmission: Geothermal’s Achilles Heel

Now that geothermal is finally on our energy priority list, the industry is seeing a new influx of public and private capital. After more than a decade of almost no activity in the U.S. geothermal sector, we’re finally seeing a lot of new plants being developed. The problem is, many of them may not move forward because of a lack of transmission.

But transmission is not the only issue. In this podcast, we’ll look at how factors like resource evaluation, lack of government support and industry marketing have held back the industry — and how industry professionals are addressing these factors to make sure geothermal becomes a major piece of our global baseload power mix.

Lisa Shevenell, a hydrologist with the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, talks about why the industry is coming out of a dark age of almost no geothermal development. She’ll also tell us about a new tool that makes it easier and less costly to examine potential resources.

Alison Thompson, executive director of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, discusses the reasons why Canada has no geothermal power plants, despite having numerous public companies in the country. She’ll also talk about the “brain drain” of Canadian talent down to the U.S.

Finally, Erik Swenson, a partner with the international law firm Fulbright and Jaworski, describes the need for a national transmission system for integrating more renewables. He’ll tell us why it’s not as easy as many proponents make it seem.

Inside Renewable Energy is a weekly audio news program featuring stories and interviews on all the latest developments in the renewable energy industries.

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