Geothermal Energy Generation at the Community Level

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1 Geothermal Energy Generation at the Community Level Briefing Paper Six of Black, Brown and Green FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information, contact: Mr. Denis Rhoden Jr. M.B.A, AICP The Center for Social Inclusion New York, NY Ms. Jeanne Baron The Center for Social Inclusion New York, NY December Broadway, Suite 1800, New York NY (212) Geothermal Energy Development 1

2 Table of Contents Renewable Energy is Black Brown and Green...3 Environmental Overview...4 Technology Prospects...5 Why Distributed Generation Works for Communities...6 Geothermal as a Distributed Generation Source...9 Community Commercialization...12 Opportunities...12 How Policy Can Help Communities...13 Suitability...15 Entry Risks...15 Build Out Costs...17 Hurdles...19 Looking Ahead...21 Geothermal Energy Development 2

3 Renewable Energy is Black Brown and Green Black, Brown and Green, a program of the Center for Social Inclusion, explores the economic opportunities and hurdles for green business models in communities of color. Black Brown and Green offers resources to communities and companies to help them identify their needs and develop a strategy for entering the Green Policy makers, investors and stake holders need a firm grasp of business structures that protect community control Energy Sector. Policy makers, investors and stake holders need a firm grasp of business structures that protect community control and provide ownership opportunities. They need strategies for raising the right type and levels of capital, and they need knowledge of accessible technology. Control and ownership of the green energy supply enables communities of color to share in the tremendous economic potential of the green energy market and adds depth to the broader economy. Businesses and communities must lay a foundation for future success, one that strengthens individual and community prospects today. The sixth and final paper in our series, Geothermal Energy Generation at the Community Level, explores factors influencing geothermal energy production today, from environmental conditions and economic changes to current policy and available technology. About CSI The Center for Social Inclusion is a national policy advocacy organization with the goal of building opportunity for all by dismantling structural racism. We conduct applied research, support the development of multi-racial alliances, and develop transformative policy models. Geothermal Energy Development 3

4 Environmental Overview Geothermal energy originates from minerals below the surface of the Earth and from solar energy absorbed at the surface. 1 Geothermal resources range from shallow ground, to hot water and rock several miles below the Earth's surface, and even farther down to the extremely hot molten rock called magma. 2 Geothermal has a long history of providing for our heating needs and is increasing in popularity as a source for generating electricity. Geothermal energy is attractive as a renewable source because it emits little or no greenhouse gases and is essentially on-demand. The maps of the United States (shown below) represent the availability of geothermal energy for heating or in electricity generation. Nearly every area is capable of using geothermal energy for heating and cooling applications. The most active geothermal resources are usually found along major plate boundaries where earthquakes and volcanoes are concentrated. 3 Figure: U.S. Geothermal Resource Map 1 Wikipedia 2 Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program Geothermal Energy Development 4

5 Technology Prospects Heat flows constantly from its sources within the Earth to the surface. Total heat loss from the Earth is 42 terawatts. One terawatt (TW) = 1 billion kilowatts. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the United States possesses 350,800 megawatt-hours (MWh) of geothermal resources, enough to satisfy 10% of current U.S. electricity demand using existing technology. Even though the EPA has called geothermal energy the most efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective approach to energy generation, it accounts for less than 1% of power generation in the U.S. Figure: Geothermal Heating Pump Diagram There are three forms of geothermal energy generation currently available in the US. Direct-use geothermal systems This technology is applicable in select parts of the country, generally the western US (areas rated with at least medium potential in the map above). These systems operate by drilling a well into a geothermal reservoir to get a steady stream of hot water. The hot water delivers heat directly for its intended use heating buildings, raising plants in greenhouses, drying crops, or industrial processes. Geothermal power plants This technology is applicable to an even smaller segment of the country than direct-use geothermal systems (areas rated with a high potential in the map below above?). Currently California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah have geothermal power plants. Most common is flash steam technology, a deep well is drilled and the steam accessed directly drives a conventional turbine to produce 3 Energy Information Administration Geothermal Energy Development 5

6 electricity. The capital and expertise required to build a geothermal power plant make it an unlikely candidate for community development. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) This technology can be utilized in almost all areas of the US, with the exception of where there is tundra ground cover. Geothermal heat pumps can be used in residential and commercial settings for space heating and cooling as well as water heating. A geothermal heat pump transfers heat from the ground into a building during the winter and into the ground from the building during the summer. The heat pump consists of pipes buried underground near the building. Fluid is circulated through these pipes to absorb or radiate heat from or to the ground. GHPs provide more than three times more energy than they consume. 4 Why Distributed Generation Works for Communities Today s energy supply is often generated in large facilities and flows in one direction, from central power stations to transmission and distribution facilities and then to consumers (see graphic). Changes in technology, consumer preferences, and recent regulation are changing this structure. Distributed Generation is an emerging framework driven by the ability of small operations, even individual households, to generate, use, and sell energy. This approach to harnessing and distributing energy from many small energy sources is fueling new market opportunities and enhanced industrial competitiveness. 5 4 Energy and Geosciences Institute at the University of Utah 5 European Union, Energy Research Geothermal Energy Development 6

7 Distributed Generation is a powerful model that raises an important question: How can consumers also act as fuel producers? There is more than one answer to this question, and each raises the prospect of new social and economic relationships that have the potential to bring structural changes, improve infrastructure, increase wealth and promote greater political interdependence between communities of color and the larger regional economy. The energy independence associated with distributed generation makes possible a host of potential benefits. Researchers have calculated an estimated 30% savings on electric bills 6 from shorter distribution Source: European Union, Energy Research routes alone. Fewer large centralized plants reduce the number of expensive high-voltage lines. 7 Fewer and shorter lines will result in less land appropriated to host power lines freeing land for conservation and other uses. Reduced reliance on existing technology can decrease congestion on the transmission grid. 8 Over time the costs of distributed generation will be much lower, but direct costs include outlays for equipment, installation, fuel operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses, and utility fees 9 In a recent article published by VentureBeat, the CEO of EcoVolve said a distributed energy system has the advantages of being more efficient, low maintenance, less carbon-intensive and, most importantly, cheaper. 10 Critically important from an ongoing cost 6 Ibid 7 Definition used in this report for the term Distributed Generation can be found on Wikipedia 8 Windustry.org 9 Congressional Budget Office. Prospects for Distributed Electricity Generation Jacquot, Jeremy Distributed energy is the future of renewable energy production, says Ecovolve VentureBeat October 2, Geothermal Energy Development 7

8 perspective, distributed generation does not require an army of engineers to achieve economic viability for a generator of any scale. Distributed generation provides new roles for communities to preserve and increase social equity, environmental quality, energy independence and wealth. For many communities, particularly communities of color, lack of homeownership and the upfront costs of distributed generation are often significant barriers to the environmental and economic benefits of green energy. Federal, state and municipal governments are offering tax credits, rebates, incentives and grants, but under the most optimal cases these incentives are simply insufficient to cover the costs of purchasing or installing a wind or solar system for onsite use. 11 Advocacy groups like Windustry and PaceNow (creator of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Bond) are encouraging property tax financing programs to cover some or all of the costs of installing or upgrading an energy generation system. This type of financing offers several major benefits: 12 First, access to credit can help cover much of the upfront costs, and during tough economic times this program offers an alternative to people who cannot tap into home equity lines or gain low-interest personal loans. Second, the obligation to repay the loan stays with the property. Therefore, payments become the responsibility of whoever owns that property and is benefiting from the onsite electricity generation. These models are an important step to increase access to the renewable energy sector. Yet, based on historic homeownership trends and current conditions, it is clear more must be done 11 Detailed information found at Windustry.org Property Tax Financing Authorization 12 Ibid Geothermal Energy Development 8

9 about the rising number of homes lost to foreclosure in order to prevent homeownership from becoming a bottle neck to the benefits of distributed generation. There are a number of arguments for and against renewable generation at community level and there are arguments for and against centralized large scale generation (see table). Distributed System Central versus Distributed Generation approach Pro Low transmission or distribution losses Can operate with or without connection to the transmission grid; Supports micro-grid systems Expand business opportunity, technology and policy innovations into communities at the local level Central Systems Serving Community Pro Facilities and policy infrastructure are well understood by the industry Reliable supply and established monitoring protocols Clearly defined industry participants Con Few accessible tools to promote greater individual responsibility Ownership rights over wind, solar, waste resources is unclear Lack of standards for quality and cooperation Con Transmission and distribution losses Dependence on imported fuels Environmental impact of GHG and other pollutants Ongoing maintenance and upgrade expense for transmission and distribution facilities Geothermal as a Distributed Generation Source While some geothermal technologies such as Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are just beginning to be developed, other technologies, such as Geothermal Heat Pumps, are mature and low risk. While not technically generating power, geothermal heat pumps reduce heating and cooling electricity demands by 30-70% and 20-50% respectively. Because heating and Geothermal Energy Development 9

10 cooling account for 56% of energy use in a typical home, the adoption of geothermal heat pumps represents a significant opportunity for utilizing renewable resources. 13 A variety of communities and facilities are increasingly attracted to the economic and environmental benefits of GHP compared to conventional heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The U.S. has the largest concentration of geothermal heating pumps (over 1 million) than anywhere else in the world. 14 Community scale geothermal power generation is expected to see a significant boost over the next few years, according to the recent market trend report published by the Department of Energy. Small, low-temperature power generation units began to account for a significant portion of the overall geothermal market, a trend expected to continue for at least the next several years. Modular low-temperature electricity generation units gained popularity 15 Case Examples The following three examples showcase different approaches to developing geothermal energy production at the community level. Feather River College (Quincy, California) Feather River College had heating and cooling costs of approximately $190,000 annually. The college decided to install GHPs in four buildings. The system consists of 24 individual pumps which allow separate areas to be heated and cooled independently. Princeton Development Corporation underwrote the project s costs while funding came from the California Energy Commission, the California Community Colleges, the National Geothermal Pump Consortium, long term debt financing, and 3 rd party financing. The project cost $512,000, of which roughly $295,000 was heat pump equipment costs. The system became operational in 1998, and the 13 Department of Energy 14 Department of Energy 2008 Geothermal Technologies Market Report July Ibid Geothermal Energy Development 10

11 college saves approximately $50,000 per year in energy costs. According to industry source the useful life of a GHP system is twenty years. Austin Independent School District (Austin, Texas) Since 1989, AISD has installed GHPs in 54 of their 100 schools. Energy savings on an annual basis are estimated to be 25% and ventilation rates per student are more than double the systems they replaced. The retrofit was done one class at a time while school was in session. For the retrofit of a 90 ton capacity elementary school the following costs were incurred: Heat Pump $92,000 Loop Wells $96,000 Other/Installation $86,170 Utility Rebate ($2K per kw) $5,470 Total $268,700 Mixed-use buildings (New York, New York) In 2003, a developer decided to install GHPs in 5 buildings in Tribeca. The GHP system was considered an improvement over traditional HVAC because it conserves space (the equipment can be kept in the basement) and it is less noisy. The builders had to apply for oil and gas well permits before the eight inch holes for the geothermal pipes could be drilled. This attracted the attention and support of the EPA, which is credited for pushing through the application to get the wells approved. The system required drilled holes, approximately 1,200 feet deep, which pushed through 100 feet of dirt and 1,100 feet of bedrock. The most difficult part of the installation was complaints from neighbors regarding the noise of the drilling, which took 28 days to complete. This project is not unique. Over 100 permits for geothermal wells have been filed with New York City s Department of Environmental Conservation over the past eight years. Over 35 GHPs are in operation in Manhattan. Geothermal Energy Development 11

12 Community Commercialization Community Suitability: MODERATE MODERATE Our analysis of suitability and entry risk of different renewable energy technologies takes into account the expertise required, availability of turn-key technology, environmental impact, financing models and conditions in the energy market. We rank the findings of our analysis on a scale of Low, Moderate and High. We have determined that geothermal commercialization at the community scale has a moderate suitability rating for communities of color and a moderate level of entry risk to businesses interested in entering this segment of the market. Opportunities Community Entry Risk: MODERATE GHP systems are ready for communities to use. Installation of GHP systems reduces the exposure of residents, school systems, businesses, and municipalities to the volatility of fossil fuel prices and thus provides a boost to operational budgets. GHPs can be used in a wide variety of applications, including residential, commercial, institutional and multifamily buildings. 16 Currently, GHP shipments are fairly evenly divided between residential and commercial building applications. GHPs were installed in one out of every 38 new U.S. homes in 2008 and the retrofit market for schools has grown substantially. There are currently more than 600 schools with GHP systems. 17 Binary cycle technology is enabling smaller-scale geothermal electricity generation in low temperature areas. In a binary cycle, the heat from geothermal process is transferred to another fluid that vaporizes at a lower temperature and higher pressure than water. 16 Department of Energy 2008 Geothermal Technologies Market Report July Ibid Geothermal Energy Development 12

13 The vapor from this second fluid drives turbine generation. Commercial binary plants are capable of producing an estimated kw to more than 100 MW. Established solar and wind projects provide useful models for structuring equity partnerships that can be applied to geothermal projects. Partnerships between investors and community-held assets or individual landowners have been structured so that the investor owns nearly all of the interest in the project for a specified time. After that period ownership switches, or flips, to the individual or community-owned business. 18 Communities can create their own structures, such as co-ops or limited liability companies and pool resources to acquire the necessary renewable technology assets and then sell the power generated through a Power Purchase Agreement. How Policy Can Help Communities Communities need supportive public policy and technological assistance to get a toehold in the market for geothermal energy generation. Federal and State governments have demonstrated a willingness to provide grants, tax credits and R&D support for improved geothermal capacity resulting in comparable pricing with fossil-burning facilities and lower cost technologies for communities to access. GHP incentives exist at all levels of government but for many communities, policy incentives are not as accessible as the technology itself. For example, the state of Maryland s Energy Administration (MEA) offers residential and non-residential entities a grant of $3,000 (for residential uses) and up to $10,000 for non-residential uses for the installation of GHP. 19 This effort is a strong start, but covers only a small percentage of the costs of a community-scale (90-ton) GHP which costs around $92,000. The typical household GHP is about 3 tons. 20 This does not include the costs of the other capital investments required to make the GHP system operational. The funds MEA distributes through its Strategic Energy Investment Fund are eligible for any renewable energy program. Promising grant programs 18 U.S. GAO Report # Wind Power s Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities (2004) 19 Geothermal and other forms of renewable energy projects are also eligible under existing State guidelines. 20 Department of Energy Geothermal Energy Development 13

14 like the Strategic Energy Investment Fund are important for geothermal, but suffer from policy uncertainty and resulting increased investment uncertainty leaving many communities without proper support for projects. The funds for the 2010 budget are primarily from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ( Recovery Act ), which expires in less than eighteen months. Oregon has a long standing community centered capital investment fund (the Oregon Small- Scale Energy Loan Program), which is managed by the Oregon Department of Energy. It provides capital to small-scale local energy projects that reduce consumption increase efficiency or produce energy from renewable or recycled sources. 21 The program has no legal maximum loan but is generally awards between $20,000 and $20 million. The program has made its funds available to individuals, businesses, schools, cities, counties, special districts, state and federal agencies, public corporations, cooperatives, tribes and non-profits. Over eight hundred loan applications have been approved, committing approximately $442 million. Recognizing that political boundaries do not often match renewable energy opportunities, the state Senate expanded the program to allow projects proposed by intergovernmental entities as well as projects located partially outside of Oregon that provide substantial benefits within Oregon in States and municipalities can take the lead and support Federal efforts to leverage their renewable assets with policies that promote ownership and control at the community level. Changes in policy have not kept pace with the growing popularity of geothermal technology. Policy that encourages broad participation in energy generation is critical to establishing community access to renewable energy. Research by the North American Electricity Reliability 21 Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy Geothermal Energy Development 14

15 Council shows that between the late 1990 s and 2007, over 50% of the increase in renewable energy capacity (non-hydro) occurred in states (and provinces) with mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards. 22 Suitability The most realistic geothermal technology that communities should consider is GHP. This is based on its relatively low capital costs, widespread applicability, and the expertise required is accessible. The pumps can be used in new construction as well as retrofits. Systems can be installed in buildings as small as single family homes to 500,000 square foot office buildings. They give the greatest benefit to buildings with similarly sized annual heating and cooling loads. GHP increases efficiency in buildings with independent climate control of many rooms as the system can provide efficient heating and cooling of different zones at once. For this reason, GHPs are particularly well suited for office buildings and schools, which have fluctuating usage schedules and individual zones. Currently, the residential GHP installation industry is highly fractionalized. Contractors putting in these systems also install traditional heating and cooling systems. These contractors are often misinformed about GHP and do not install the systems in the most efficient manner. This leads to misinformed customers who often decide against a GHP system based on incorrect information about the cost and benefits of GHP. There is potential community opportunity for a specialized GHP installation firm, with the right business model and expertise. There is also opportunity for consumer education about the technology and subsidies available. Entry Risks Community scale geothermal requires expertise (legal, technical and business) that often exists outside of communities. Harnessing geothermal energy for space heating or electricity requires ownership or control over land. Although this can take a variety of forms and numerous partnerships, communities need additional support to protect their land (and geothermal) 22 National Electricity Reliability Council. Accommodating High Levels of Variable Generation. April Geothermal Energy Development 15

16 interests. A financial adviser should provide direction about the income and tax implications of various ownership structures and lease payment options. University of Texas officials indicated that legal and technical resources were critical for negotiating a favorable lease agreement for a wind project on university property. 23 Similar resource demands and complexities exist for geothermal projects making it imperative for communities to have access to technical and business support as well. Affordable financing could also shut out communities even with strong geothermal potential. Community access to lending institutions willing to take the risk could come at a steep price depending on the size of the project and the level of risk. Conventional lending institutions are generally unwilling to finance geothermal projects because of there are significant uncertainties involved Higher financing costs are significant for renewable energy projects but less so for GHP technology due to its maturity. The less drilling and permitting required the more likely the project will receive financing. Communities may be shut out of the electricity market for geothermal energy generation. Developing infrastructure to connect power lines to the transmission grid requires significant investment. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the average cost of building new power lines to the transmission grid could be $100,000 or more per mile, depending on such factors as the size of the project, terrain and the transmission line rating. These costs may discourage communities, particularly poor communities and communities of color from entering the market with capacity to provide bulk power. Federal financing alternatives are not sensitive to the business cycle nor do they easily support community ownership structures. Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), suffer from short 23 U.S. GAO Report # Wind Power s Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities (2004). 24 Deloitte Development LLC. Geothermal Risk Mitigation Strategies Report September Pew Center for Climate Change Geothermal Energy Development 16

17 authorization periods and lapses resulting from delays in reauthorization. This has had the effect of creating boom and bust periods in the industry. Not-for-profit entities are also ineligible for some of these tax credits. Tax credits, especially non-refundable tax credits, are especially sensitive to downturns in the general economy and limit the number of investors willing to undertake community scale projects. Build Out Costs Installation of a GHP represents the bulk of the cost of this HVAC system while the electricity to run it makes up the remainder. An installed system costs between $5,000 and $10,000. This figure increases if drilling is involved in the installation. Consumers are expected to recover the difference within five years because the operational and maintenance cost of the system are relatively low. Operationally, annual estimated cost savings for heating and cooling are 30-70% and 20-50% respectively. 26 Unlike its combustion driven alternatives, GHP operational costs are not nearly as sensitive to volatility in crude oil prices. This is largely because GHPs do not use much electricity. The pump simply uses electricity from the grid, so there is no fuel onsite. Equipment is long-lived with warranties for 20 years indoors and 50 years for closed loop outdoors. GHPs require very little maintenance. An average service package costs $150-$250 and entails maintenance and tune-ups, parts and labor coverage and emergency service. GHPs have lower maintenance and repair requirements, on average 20-40% less than traditional HVAC systems due to their simple design. 27 Combustion based systems also call for increased safety precautions such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors). In short, maintenance and servicing of combustion based systems are much more time and capital intensive than GHPs. For the most part, geothermal facilities cost less than fossil-burning ones to build and operate, when accounting for total cost of generating electricity. Geothermal energy used for electricity 26 Department of Energy 27 Ibid, 2008 Geothermal Energy Development 17

18 generation does not need additional fuel. According to the Pew Center for Climate Change, geothermal plants can produce electricity for 5 to 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) a rate competitive with traditional fossil fuel generation and it is expected to remain so through Financing Community Geothermal The upfront costs of GHPs are a major barrier for any consumer. Installation/capital expenditure for GHPs is, on average, two to three times more expensive than traditional HVAC systems. Because a GHP is not currently a conventional system, installation processes are not as streamlined as they are with the traditional systems. Finding and hiring contractors, drillers and installers that are trained and certified to install GHPs is a process that is both costly and time consuming. Currently there is no company that offers a SunEdison-type of business model (see solar section) where the firm installs and owns the GHP equipment in each customer s home and the customers pay the firm monthly utility payments for the use of the equipment. A community could act in this manner if it has the proper resources. In a SunEdison-type power purchase agreement (PPA) model, the consumer would, in effect, lease the system from the community which spreads the capital costs over the term of the contract. It could also aggregate carbon credits generated by all of the systems and monetize them if carbon legislation is passed in the U.S. A community can also encourage GHP adoption by promoting federal and state incentives and negotiating group discounts for the purchase of equipment and installation. Federal and state incentives can dramatically reduce the cost of installing GHPs both residentially and commercially. 28 Pew Center for Climate Change, U.S. Energy Information Administration assumes with tax incentives geothermal will remain below or competitive with alternatives through 2020 Geothermal Energy Development 18

19 Hurdles A lack of reliable information hinders small and bulk power electricity producers from exploring geothermal alternatives. A recent study by Deloitte & Touche Tomahatsu finds existing data on geothermal resources in the U.S. and specifically across western states to be disjointed, haphazard or unavailable 29 Step by Step Guide 1) Identify opportunity Nearly every area of the country is suitable for GHPs because they do not require extremely high temperatures. A contractor with experience installing these systems should be consulted regarding the specifications of a system particular to the building and the land dimensions. 2) Pre-construction planning primarily size and configuration of the system determines its long-term performance. System design should ensure the systems of pipes ( loops ) are at a sufficient distance and size. Too small or the boreholes too close together, will result in exchange heat from the house to be poorly dispersed causing the ground temperature to rise. Residential system installers, generally smaller firms, provide design services for individual systems, including the loop design which is generally a closed loop. Firms such as LoopMaster or Trison, two leading national geothermal firms, work as the general contractor on larger GHP projects such as schools. Geothermal systems known as Open Loop and Standing Column, both used for higher capacity systems, can have environmental impacts such as groundwater contamination and are thus likely to be more heavily regulated. Many small installers have not had the volume to develop in-depth expertise or consistent quality, so finding an installer with adequate experience is important. Applications for applicable permits will also need to be filed. 29 Deloitte Development LLC. Geothermal Risk Mitigation Strategies Report September 2008 Geothermal Energy Development 19

20 3) Drilling While horizontal loop systems and underwater systems do not require drilling, the more versatile vertical loops do. Successful drilling depends heavily on knowledge of local geological conditions. The localized nature of the drilling business reflects this, with local water well drillers being the primary source for GHP drilling, followed by local construction and environmental drillers. Each locality typically has one major company providing these services. Few regions provide enough customer density for specialized GHP drilling firms to arise. Licensing requirements also vary by state. Both large and small installers might consider the potential for volume deals with drillers in various regions. While addressing price and local knowledge, this approach also provides a long-term relationship for developing quality control. 4) Installation A GHP installation needs a good seal and thermal conductivity as well as enough depth to prevent freezing. Installers place a series of pipes in the ground, grout it, trench and bury the line to the house, penetrate the foundation or construct sealed/heated casement above ground, and lastly join loops from the various boreholes to create one input and one output. As noted above, HVAC companies typically perform the loop installation for residential projects since the volume is too small for a specialized firm to emerge. The work falls too far outside the scope of plumbers work for them to provide installation service. However, no regulations require a licensed plumber. 5) Pump installation performed by the HVAC company involves putting in the pump, wiring, duct work, and potentially removing the previous system. Electrical work is usually minimal unless the consumption is large enough to change the service to the building. If this is the case, the utility company must be involved. Licensing requirements for electrical work vary by state, influencing whether the HVAC company will turn over the job to subcontractors. Geothermal Energy Development 20

21 Looking Ahead Geothermal is here to stay and communities must be open to this alternative energy source because of its long-term economic advantages, near-term applications, tremendous bulk power potential and positive environmental impact. This potential is being recognized at every level of government and large scale commercial operations alike. For the first time in over thirty years the Federal government the U.S. Geological Survey ( USGS ) released a report in 2008 assessing domestic geothermal electricity production potential in 13 Western states. USGS research suggests that only 23% of sources capable of producing geothermal electricity with today s technology have been discovered in the United States. 30 It will be critically important to expand on available information for the development of geothermal resources, as the map and figure demonstrate below. Geothermal Electricity Capacity by State Geothermal Power Development (2008) Source: Department of Energy Source: Department of Energy 30 Department of Energy 2008 Geothermal Technologies Market Report July 2009 Geothermal Energy Development 21

22 Communities across the country should be encouraged to audit their potential resources and develop a portfolio of renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuel consumption. As this series shows every community has renewable resource potential. Advocacy is necessary for communities to create and expand institutional policies and gain access to technology. With supportive policies and community-scale innovation we can spur new models for household, businesses and communities to build wealth that is integrated, renewable and enduring. Resources Geothermal Energy Development 22

23 The Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) is a national policy advocacy organization. CSI s mission is to build a fair and just society by dismantling structural racism, which undermines opportunities for all of us. CSI partners with communities of color and other allies to build a strong multi-racial movement for new policy directions that create equity and opportunity. Copyright December 2009 by The Center for Social Inclusion All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the permission of the Center for Social Inclusion The Center for Social Inclusion 65 Broadway, Suite 1800 New York, NY (212) Geothermal Energy Development 23

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