• 5 hours UK On Track To Approve Construction of “Mini” Nuclear Reactors
  • 9 hours LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says
  • 11 hours Oil Nears $52 With Record OPEC Deal Compliance
  • 14 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 16 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 17 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 4 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 4 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 4 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 4 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 5 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 5 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 5 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 6 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 6 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 6 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 7 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 7 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 7 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 7 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 7 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 7 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 7 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
Energy Digital

Energy Digital

Energy Digital is a leading digital media source of news and content for C-level executives focused on business and all aspects of managing the environment.…

More Info

U.S. Geothermal Industry Could be Given a Boost by Congress

U.S. Geothermal Industry Could be Given a Boost by Congress

With Washington finalizing a last minute debt deal to avoid a default, some are preparing for what’s next.  Frankly, the poorly pieced together debt deal will do little more than delay a default, in the meantime, both the public and private sectors will need to scramble to figure out how to kickstart the economy.  One popular belief is that renewed investment in energy infrastructure development—particularly in renewables—could help create jobs and spur economic growth.  In light of this, two new bills are making their way to congress for approval in the coming months that will boost geothermal energy development across the U.S.

Since the end of 2009, there has been little development in geothermal energy in the U.S.  Analysts speculate the reasons for this are most likely the long permitting process and the expensive upfront costs of test drilling.  However, the two new bills will likely ease these burdensome factors.

The first is a House bill that was already approved by the Natural Resources Committee.  The bill is aimed at cutting down on the permitting process for geothermal exploration on federal land in cases where developers already own a lease.  This would presumably save developers both time and money, making projects more attractive to investment.

In the U.S. Senate, the Geothermal Exploration and Technology Act of 2011 is up for vote.  The act is designed to establish a revolving loan fund for exploratory geothermal drilling, create a demonstration program for large-scale geothermal heat pump systems, and allow those leasing federal land for oil and gas exploration to produce geothermal energy as well.

But unlike other renewable energy ventures, geothermal has a unique set of hurdles to overcome.  “You don’t face the same resource risk with solar and wind as you do with geothermal,” says Geothermal Energy Association Executive Director Karl Gawell. “You have to spend a lot of money to find a resource and know how big it is. The process is really closer to a mining venture than it is to a wind or solar project. The upfront money is really hard to find and expensive because it’s high risk. Investors like to see faster returns. They like to see a project within two or three years.”

Geothermal projects tend to take anywhere from four to eight years to get up and running, and if these two new bills before congress pass, it is likely that the U.S. may see a boom period in geothermal investment.  However, considering the political climate in the U.S. as of late, the likelihood of congress passing the bills is yet to be determined.  

“The whole situation we have here—everything is in gridlock,” says Gawell. “The Senate Energy Committee continues to function, and do its job. The problem is nobody really knows if any of this is really going to go anywhere. One of the unspoken victims in all this is the legislative process. It’s just grinding to a halt.”

By. John Shimkus of Energy Digital




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on August 03 2011 said:
    I am a great fan of geothermal energy. In particular in local home use for heating and cooling. There the upfront costs are large, but the outcome quite predictable.So it makes sense. And every homeowner makes his own investment decision.The challenge for larger projects, to produce electricity is significant, particularly under current circumstances. Lots of other peoples' money. There is little availability of risk capital in sufficient amounts given the risk of a dry hole. Shale gas based electricity is a much less risky bet currently. Especially under current market prices for electricity Unless government wishes to increase its unwise efforts to try to pick winners in energy, that equation will not change in the near term.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News