Geothermal Energy Produces almost 8 GW of Electricity in U.S.
Stimulus bill makes Geothermal Energy expansion a reality across the U.S.
There is no doubt that the geothermal energy erupting from an active volcano would have enough power to light up the sky in the south pacific. The same geothermal energy can be used to light up America's beach houses in the North Atlantic portion of the country. Instead of drilling for coal, we can drill for steam and heat produced cleanly beneath the earth's surface. Can we as a nation make this a reality?
The geothermal energy expansion occurring in the US, partly driven by the recent stimulus bill, is making this a real possibility for many American families like the toasty folks in Klamuth Falls, Oregon, who don't even have to worry about shoveling their sidewalks thanks to molten rocks providing geothermal energy a thousand miles away. According to the April 2010 US Geothermal Power Production and Development Update, the Geothermal Energy Association "identified 188 projects in different stages of development in fifteen states which could produce as much as 7,875 MW of new electric power. This increase in the number of projects in development represents a 25% growth in the number of new projects under development in the United States between May 2009 and April 2010."
Geothermal Energy projects breaking ground before the end of 2010 qualify for a federal grant of 30% of the cost, the same grant being handed out to solar projects who meet the same deadline. This amounts to $363 million of Recovery Act Funding for Geothermal Energy.
Geothermal energy projects in states like California and Nevada are paving the way for lesser funded states like West Virginia to turn up the heat on issues surrounding renewable energy. France and other European countries are funding more renewable energy programs as well. France has introduced €1.73 billion in research funds.
“The beauty of the concept is that if it works, it can work anywhere in the world,” says Subir Sanyal, president of a geothermal energy consulting firm in California.
Geothermal energy is powerful, cost effective with proper government support, and becoming a reality for a growing number of citizens from coast to coast.