Tuesday, April 26, 2016

USA: The Environmental and Economic Benefits of Geothermal

Studies Show Geothermal and Grid Diversity Benefit the Environment and Consumers (Renewable Energy World)

Tanganon Geothermal Plant, Leyte Island, Phillipines
by Cepi Budi Mansyur
Last fall, the California legislature passed SB 350, a bill that will increase the state’s renewable energy generation to 50 percent by 2030 utilizing resources like wind, solar, biomass, andgeothermal energy. This goal will be a first. No large-scale economy like California has ever attempted to transition to a grid powered in majority by renewables. With such high-reaching plans and only a decade and a half to deliver, where does the state go from here?

There are countries with grids which are almost fully powered by renewables, like Iceland, Costa Rica, and New Zealand, but none of these countries have economies as large, loads as complex, or are as geographically diverse as California. So the lessons learned from these grids may not be applicable to California. Most importantly is how will California accomplish this task responsibly so that carbon emissions are permanently reduced and the future grid saves ratepayers money on their utility bills?