Geothermal Is on the Rise

Geothermal Is on the Rise

Todd Standley
Published: 11/20/2008

When thinking of renewable energy, wind and solar power might be the first examples that come to mind. However, according to the United States Geological Survey and industry experts, geothermal energy is gaining steam. In the first government assessment in 30 years, the USGS reports that the U.S. has “identified conventional” sources of geothermal energy that, if fully realized, would be capable of generating 9,057 megawatts (MW). If one megawatt is equal to 1,000 kilowatts, which is enough to serve about 1,000 U.S. homes, that means that 9,057 MW could power 9,057,000 homes. Currently, the U.S. is operating geothermal plants from “high grade geothermal systems” in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. According to Vancouver-based Western GeoPower, the largest geothermal plant in the world is The Geysers geothermal field in northern California. Geothermal energy is an essential component in the list of renewable energy sources creating the new energy economy.