The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) and the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) have released guidance for states on meeting new clean energy standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The free state-by-state guides walk through the benefits and uses of three major types of geothermal applications: power generation, direct use and heat pumps. The guides initially cover Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Idaho and Colorado.
“Geothermal can be an important part of state clean power plans, particularly when all of the benefits of firm and flexible geothermal provides are taken into account,” says Ben Matek, GEA analyst and research projects manager. “The Guides we are providing today will help overcome a major hurdle for geothermal – lack of recognition,” says Karl Gawell, GEA executive director. “We hope the states will recognize geothermal energy is part of the solution, and that each has potential it can tap.”
The materials are available at no cost and provide state officials, regulators and the public with information about geothermal energy uses in their individual states as decision-makers choose which forms of energy will be deployed to meet the requirements of the U.S. Clean Power Plan. Geothermal power generation boosts jobs and the economy, according to the state guides. It is produced locally, reduces carbon emissions and has a small environmental footprint. For utilities, geothermal is a reliable, sustainable investment.
“Geothermal heat pumps can have a significant impact on fossil fuel consumption and are well-suited for states seeking to meet emissions reduction and renewable energy targets,” says Doug Dougherty, GEO president and CEO. “We encourage regulators to use these guides to better understand the role the entire spectrum of geothermal technology can have in their plans.”
Geothermal heat pumps can operate efficiently at shallower depths and lower temperatures than power plants, making them available in any U.S. state or territory.
GEO is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of the geothermal/ground-source heat pump industry across the U.S. GEO advocates the technology to government, industry and the public, educating leaders about the economic, national security and environmental benefits of geothermal heat pumps for residential, institutional and commercial applications. To learn more, go to www.geoexchange.org.