Your Ad Here

Monday, November 27, 2006

Idaho Could Lead Geothermal Energy In U.S.

A new report from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) concludes that Idaho may have the "largest untapped potential for geothermal development" in the United States.

"Despite not having a single power plant in 2006, Idaho's potential for geothermal electric power development rivals California and Nevada -- states that already have nearly 60 power plants between them," according to the author of the report, Daniel Fleischmann.

This new report, titled "Geothermal Development Needs in Idaho", examines the resources in the state, geothermal use by agriculture and local governments and the status of plans to develop several new power projects. The report finds that Idaho has at least 20 identified resource areas where power production can potentially be developed and geothermal heating systems could serve residents in nearly every community along the Snake River Plain.

While Idaho has used geothermal energy for over 100 years, the state's first commercial geothermal power plant is not expected to come online until the fall of 2007. This is the first of five geothermal power projects under development in Idaho and only a fraction of the 855 MW of the state's near-term potential identified in the Western Governors Association's Geothermal Task Force Report.

The GEA report is based upon interviews with over 50 leading experts in the geothermal field in the United States, more than 35 of whom have worked specifically with geothermal in Idaho. State and federal officials, researchers, utilities, industry representatives, land developers and clean energy advocates were among the wide range of individuals interviewed.

Based upon the interviews the report defines consensus recommendations for actions needed at the federal and state level. Among the recommendations are: an extension of the federal production tax credit beyond 2007; encouraging geothermal development in the state's agricultural industries; funding exploration of locations demonstrating near-term potential for electric power development and examining the feasibility of using small power technology, like that being demonstrated in Alaska, at dozens of locations in state already using geothermal resources for other purposes.

The report also discusses potential for the new Intermountain West Geothermal Consortium (IWGC).

"The IWGC created by EPAct brings together technical expertise and interested industry partners and could be a catalyst for major new geothermal energy development in Idaho if given a chance," says Fleischmann.

The IWGC, coordinated through Boise State University, was created by Congress last year but it has not yet received federal funding to carry out its mandate.

This report complements those issued earlier this year examining geothermal resources in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. The report is available to download without charge from the GEA Web site.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home