U.S. Geothermal Industry Sees Continued Steady Growth in 2012
-Industry has grown at an astonishing rate over the past decade, trajectory
could see capacity double over next 10 years-
WASHINGTON -- February 26, 2013
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) today released its 2013 Annual GEA
Industry Update, which found that installed geothermal capacity in the United
States grew by 5%, or 147.05 MW, since the last annual survey in March 2012.
This considerable increase in capacity is part of a larger trend of steady
geothermal growth over the past decade, and can be attributed to seven
geothermal projects that came online in 2012. GEA also revised its last year’s
estimate of total installed capacity upward by 128 MW, bringing current
installed U.S. geothermal capacity to 3,386 MW. The report was released at the
State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing (#GEABriefing2013) in
Geothermal power plants are operating in eight states: Alaska, California,
Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. There are also a staggering
175 geothermal projects currently in development, equal to 5,150-5,523 MW of
known geothermal resource. Of this number, 2,511-2,606 MW are potential
capacity additions in the next decade. Geothermal development is underway in
Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, Texas and Washington.
“Since Congress passed the 2005 Energy Policy Act, geothermal power has been
growing. In the first decade after EPAct, the U.S. is posed to add 1,000 MW of
geothermal power, more than 10 times as much geothermal capacity as during the
previous decade. And today's report indicates that there are over 2,500 MW
more that could come online in the next decade," said GEA Executive Director
Karl Gawell. “We are headed to 6,000 MW of geothermal, but could do much
more,” he added.
Gawell continued: "To achieve even more dramatic growth, geothermal power
needs continued and predictable federal incentives to spur investors to
undertake the risk of investing in new geothermal projects. Governments need
to cut the time it takes to manage leasing and permitting—it should not take
seven or more years to complete a project. Industry needs consistent and
sustained research support to develop new technology, reduce risk and spur
technological innovation. State renewable standards need to recognize the full
benefits of geothermal power to their power system reliability and the
In the past year, capacity was installed by five different geothermal
companies. U.S. Geothermal brought its San Emidio Repower and Neal Hot Springs
plants online in Nevada and Oregon, respectively, while Ormat brought both its
Tuscarora and McGinness Hills plants online in Nevada. The Silver State also
welcomed the nation’s first co-production plant, developed by ElectraTherm at
the Florida Canyon Mine, as well as Terra-Gen Power’s Dixie Valley project.
EnergySource’s John L. Featherstone (Hudson Ranch 1) project was the only
plant to come online in California, but its 49.9 MW capacity was the highest
of any 2012 project.
The report also noted that technological advancements in geothermal stand to
bolster an already strong industry. In addition to ElectraTherm’s
co-production plant, 2012 also saw the completion of the nation’s first hybrid
solar-geothermal plant at Enel Green Power North America’s Stillwater
facility. Though no new capacity was added at this plant, hybrid technology
presents an additional opportunity to grow geothermal capacity in the future.
Enhanced Geothermal Systems technology (EGS), as well as the potential to
generate geothermal electricity from fluids left over as a byproduct of oil
and gas production, represent even more unconventional yet effective ways to
tap the earth’s geothermal resources.
“Our industry is, and always has been, ahead of the curve when it comes to
technological advancements,” Gawell added. “The tireless innovation and
ingenuity of geothermal companies, bolstered by supportive government
programs, will serve to bring even more affordable power online in the coming
California, the U.S. and world leader in geothermal, increased its installed
capacity to 2,732.2 MW over the past year, while the nation’s second leading
geothermal state, Nevada, reached 517.5 MW. The Golden State and Silver State
also have 33 and 75 projects in development, respectively. Utah (19), Oregon
(18) and Idaho (11) are among the other states with a significant number of
projects in development.
The full report can be accessed at geo-energy.org/reports.aspx. A press
tele-conference with GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell and member companies
will be held on Tuesday, February 26 ^ at 1:00 p.m. ET. To request dial in
details, please contact Shawna Seldon at 917 971 7852 or
Join the conversation on Twitter with #GEABriefing2013.
About the Geothermal Energy Association:
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association comprised of
U.S. companies who support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are
developing geothermal Resources worldwide for electrical power generation and
direct-heat uses.GEA advocates for public policies that will promote the
development and utilization of geothermal Resources, provides a forum for the
industry to discuss issues and problems, encourages research and development
to improve geothermal technologies, presents industry views to governmental
organizations, provides assistance for the export of geothermal goods and
services, compiles statistical data about the geothermal industry, and
conducts education and outreach projects. For more information, please visit
http://www.geo-energy.org/. Check out GEA’s YouTube Channel. Follow GEA on
Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
The Rosen Group
Shawna Seldon, 917 971 7852
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.