Thursday, October 22, 2015

USA, California: More Salton Sea Geothermal Energy Should be Developed

Geothermal: The Other California Renewable (San Diego Free Press)

We are fortunate to live in a state that has ample natural non-fossil-fuel resources to provide electricity for our citizens. Not only do we have an abundance of sun to power solar generation, but we have a reliable steady-state resource right in our backyard: the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area in the Imperial Valley.

The geothermal fields near the Salton Sea are the hottest, most prolific resource in the U.S. The reservoir is part of our major fault system near the end of the San Andreas fault. Lateral slip occurs as the North American and Pacific plates slide past each other. This movement forms a “spreading basin” creating natural geothermal reservoirs.

We will need all of the renewable energy technologies. Geothermal can be an important part of that mix. It provides a very useful kind of electric power, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Using advanced technology, geothermal can minimize greenhouse gas emissions and water use on a small land footprint. It can also provide a much needed by-product, lithium, without the need for separate mining facilities, while supplying permanent jobs and a significant revenue stream for the community. Just when we absolutely must find ways to stop using fossil-fuel, geothermal energy is a large-scale, economically feasible, renewable energy source our region should seriously consider.

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