31 Aug '12, 2pm

U.S. Geothermal Energy Potential is Heating Up

U.S. Geothermal Energy Potential is Heating Up

The current (pdf) installed capacity of geothermal energy in the United States is 3,187 MW , which is more than any other country in the world. Geothermal energy is an attractive energy option, given that plants have low emissions, operate constantly and generate high rates of electricity – in some cases, even outperforming coal-fired power plants. Yet geothermal energy is not competitive with wind and solar. The reason, says Brian Anderson, professor of Chemical Engineering at West Virginia University and co-author of the MIT report, comes down to cost: “Exploring a potential geothermal site is expensive, and there is a level of uncertainty in the exploratory phase. An exploratory well costs at least a few million dollars.” But although the investment costs are hefty, once the site has been evaluated and a plant constructed, “that’s when the payback comes,” says Anderson....

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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