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New Report: Significant Reserve of Untapped Geothermal Energy Exists

Fourteen western U.S. states have extensive undeveloped geothermal resources, according to a recent report.

Fourteen western U.S. states have extensive undeveloped geothermal resources, according to a recent report.

The report, An Assessment of Geothermal Resource Development Needs in the Western United States for the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), documents efforts in each state to develop geothermal resources and defines challenges and opportunities for expanding geothermal energy production in the U.S.

The recommendations made in the report are based upon the feedback received from more than 150 different experts including consultants, engineers, project developers, utilities, regulators, clean energy advocates, researchers and geologists.

Key conclusions of the report include:
- The geothermal resources of 14 western states - Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming - appear to be more extensive than most people believe.
- The unidentified resource base is a significant near-term target of opportunity with up to 150,000MW.
- Federal and State policies need to be complementary and support a clear path for new project development.
- Federal programs and tax incentives will make a significant difference.
- Federal efforts should be tailored to support the specific needs in each state.

The report recommends that policymakers extend the production tax credit (PTC) so that geothermal facilities have the time they need to comply, provide incentives for geothermal distributed generation and direct use projects, fully fund and diversify the USDOE Geothermal Technologies Program, and facilitate strong interagency coordination on transmission issues, environmental reviews, leasing, and permitting for geothermal development on federal lands.

posted on 2/20/2007

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