U.S. Geothermal Power Primed For Growth

Federal and state initiatives to promote the use of geothermal energy appear to be paying off,a new survey shows. Some 45 projects are under way and could nearly double U.S. geothermal power output, according to the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), the industry trade group.

"State renewable standards coupled with the federal production tax credit are creating a renaissance in U.S. geothermal power production," states Karl Gawell, GEA executive director. The most significant catalyst behind the increased activity was passage of the federal Energy Policy Act, he adds.

The survey showed new power projects in many states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii and Idaho. The projects would provide between 1,817.9MW and 2,094.9 MW of new electric power for the grid. The U.S. had 2,828 MW of geothermal power capacity online in 2005, the association reports.

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