Sunday, February 20, 2011

Geothermal don't get no respect

Solar is hot. The winds of change are blowing. But in the words of Rodney Dangerfield, geothermal don't get no respect.

After roaming in the wilderness since the end of the country's brief immersion in renewable energy in the late 1970s following the oil crisis, interest in geothermal is trying to come back but it faces many challenges. An article in the New York Times lays out the list of problems.

Geothermal is the oft-forgotten renewable energy step child at the state and national policy levels. Incentives common for solar and wind are only recently considered for geothermal, but are applied intermittently. Permitting and regulatory hurdles mean up to 7 years to get a geothermal plant running compared to expedited processes of 2 years for solar and wind.

Geothermal advocates say a more strategic national focus is needed if we're going to take advantage of this vast resource. "More please!"

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