By Emily Pontecorvo, Grist
Kate Young, the geothermal program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said that over the past year she’s noticed an uptick in interest from the oil and gas industry in geothermal. “That, I think, is very exciting,” Young said. “Oil and gas has the funding and capability and knowhow to quickly advance technology and deployment of geothermal.”
As international climate policy puts more pressure on fossil fuel companies to look for new business models, geothermal offers a way to repurpose what they know best: drilling, extraction, and infrastructure. “Geothermal is their way out,” said Sanjeev Kumar, head of policy at the European Geothermal Energy Council. Geothermal is an opportunity not just for oil and gas companies, but also for the oil and gas workers losing their jobs because of the price crash, or who may soon lose them due to climate policy. Many of the jobs and skill sets are transferable, from exploration geologists to drillers to power plant operators. Read more here.
Geothermal Map: Existing and planned U.S. geothermal installed capacity (MWe) by state. Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Career Pathways in Geothermal Energy, April 15, 2020, 12 to 1 pm. Register here.
DOE GEOTHERMAL & SOLAR RESEARCH FUNDING
DOE News Release: On February 4, 2020, the Department of Energy announced up to $43.8 million to advance geothermal research and development. The following day, DOE announced up to $125.5 million in new funding for solar technology research.
- DOE Releases New Study Highlighting the Untapped Potential of Geothermal Energy in the United States, Department of Energy News Release
- ORNL Researchers Create Geothermal Energy Storage System, Renewable Energy Magazine. Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers created a geothermal energy storage system that could reduce peak electricity demand up to 37 percent in homes while helping balance grid operations.
- A History of Geothermal Energy in America, Department of Energy
- Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website
- DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office
- DOE’s GeoVision analysis webpage
LOCAL GEOTHERMAL EXAMPLE: MAMMEL HALL
An energy source that lies right under your feet, by Laura King-Homan, OPPD The Wire
The project is an example of how commercial electricity customers utilize geothermal heating and cooling to reach their energy goals. OPPD has offered expertise in this area for decades, including testing potential building sites for suitability.
PROJECTS FOR HOMES & BUSINESSES
Previously Posted: How to Combine Solar and Geothermal Renewable Energy Sources, Blue & Green Tomorrow
Examples of Nebraska homeowners who have installed solar & geothermal projects:
Click on “Solar Examples” on the above menu bar and scroll down to:
Dageforde Net Positive Energy Home
Don Preister’s Home In Bellevue
Several businesses listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s Directory install geothermal projects alone or combined with solar.
Incentives for Homeowners & Businesses
Geothermal installations are among the clean and renewable energy projects that qualify for the Federal Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is now 26% through December 31, 2020. Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
All Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), 141 cooperatives in 10 states utilize heat recovery. Nebraska is 9th, with 6 cooperatives utilizing heat recovery. Thermal capture technologies, including geothermal technologies, use heat to generate power.