Geothermal Power
12,100 Megawatts of Geothermal Power by 2025

By Matthew McDermott
October 23, 2008

Geothermal energy finally seems to be getting the attention it deserves. While
it still is a small percentage of most nation’s energy mix (read: everybody but
Iceland), the potential of geothermal in some places is enormous. Towards that
end, Google and the US Department of Energy have both committed resources to
bring more geothermal power online in the past few months; now, the US
Department of the Interior has announced that it will be opening up a good sized
swath of federal lands to geothermal power development:

190 Million Acres of Land Up For Lease

In total some 190 million acres of land, in 11 states, will be made available
for lease. The estimated total power potential of these areas is 5,540
megawatts; which could come online by 2015 and would be enough power for about
5.5 million average homes. By 2025 this amount could rise to 12,100 megawatts,
the Dept. of the Interior said in its news release.

Of the money generated by these leases, 50% would go to the state, 25% to the
county where the specific project is located, and 25% to a federal fund
dedicated to further geothermal power development.

National Parks, Wilderness Areas Remain Off Limits

It should be noted that lands currently off limits to geothermal development,
such as national parks and designated wilderness and wilderness study areas,
will remain off limits.

The states involved in the plan are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado,
Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
More details: Geothermal Resources Leasing Programmatic EIS

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