US Geothermal power generation grows 29% in 2009  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

KCSG.com has a report on the growth of geothermal power generation in the United States - Geothermal Grows 26% in 2009 - Utah Ranks Third Among Top 15 States.

The US geothermal power industry continued strong growth in 2009, according to a new report by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA). The April 2010 US Geothermal Power Production and Development updated study showed 26% growth in new projects under development in the United States in the past year, with 188 projects underway in 15 states which could produce as much as 7,875 MW of new electric power.

When completed, these projects will add over 7,000 MW of base load power capacity; enough to provide electricity for 7.6 million people, or 20% of California’s total power needs, and roughly equivalent to the total power used in California from coal-fired power plants. "Geothermal power can be a critical part of the answer to global warming," according to the Geothermal Energy Association's Executive Director, Karl Gawell. "For example, California could achieve its 2020 goal for global warming emissions reductions just by keeping energy demand level and replacing its coal-fired generation with geothermal," according to Gawell.

Nevada continued to be the leading state for new geothermal energy, with over 3,000 MW under development. The fastest growing geothermal power states in 2009 were Utah which quadrupled its geothermal power under development, New Mexico which tripled, Idaho which doubled, and Oregon which reported a 50% increase. In addition, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas all reported their first geothermal projects compared with the previous year.

“These geothermal power projects will create substantial sources of new employment across the country," Gawell said. "Not only are we seeing more and more development and hiring in places with a long history of geothermal like Nevada and California, but for the first time these jobs are being created in the Gulf Coast, in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi. Along with a huge number of new construction jobs, geothermal power also creates many permanent positions that can never be outsourced," said Gawell.

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