Tuesday, December 29, 2015

USA, Idaho: Geothermal Energy is a Good Fit for State

What Climate Change Will Mean for Idaho's Energy Supply (Twin Falls Times-News)

(Courtesy Idaho Geological Survey)
Because of climate change, the equation of where Idahoans get their electricity is changing. This shift is related to new federal regulations intended to curb greenhouse gas emissions, experts say, forcing utilities to invest in cleaner energy sources. At the same time, Idaho’s biggest source of zero-emission energy, hydropower, is itself under threat from climate change due to diminished snowpacks and river flows.

One energy source that might be especially well-suited to Idaho is geothermal, stored inside the Earth in hot water and rocks. The Idaho National Laboratory is aiming to build a geothermal research facility on its desert site called Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy, or FORGE.

According to the Idaho’s Office of Energy Resources, the state has an estimated 800 megawatts of geothermal-powered potential. One 13-megawatt facility has been operational since 2008 in southern Idaho.

“Idaho has really good geothermal potential,” said John Chatburn, administrator of Idaho’s Office of Energy Resources. “There are folks that have acquired leasing on (Bureau of Land Management) ground and are doing exploration, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see some new geothermal resources being developed here in the not-too-distant future.”

Read More......