Advantages of Geothermal Energy

The renewable energy industry convenes this week in California, the birthplace of U.S. geothermal energy production, for the Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo. In conjunction with the event, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has released Why Support Geothermal, a report highlighting the benefits of supporting geothermal energy. The report can be accessed at

Why Support Geothermal reviews the advantages of geothermal power and reasons why it is important to invest in this valuable energy resource including:

·Geothermal power can be produced as a baseload renewable energy resource, meaning it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless of changing weather, providing a uniquely reliable and continuous source of clean energy. As a baseload power source, geothermal is well suited as a substitute for coal in our utility system.

·Geothermal supports local economic development.

·Geothermal energy is widely available.

·Geothermal energy promotes national security.

The Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo converging in Long Beach bears significance. California was the first U.S. state to build a commercial geothermal site, and the state continues to lead the way for the U.S. geothermal industry. In 2010, geothermal provided 42 percent of California’s commercial, in-state renewable electricity generation, and if the Golden State were its own country, it would lead the world in geothermal power production with over 2,500 MW of installed capacity.

The Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo runs through February 16 at the Long Beach Convention Center. On the Expo floor, GEA’s booth will provide information on the basics of geothermal energy, current projects, industry challenges and GEA membership and upcoming events. Visitors can take a GEA "passport" to other geothermal booths for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire.

The Expo will also include a Geothermal Track on February 15 and 16. The first day will feature papers and presentations on innovative geothermal power plant systems and technology that increase resource efficiency and offer more dynamic load support to utilities. Presenters include Halley Dickey, TAS Energy; Josh Nordquist, Ormat Technologies; Harvey Wen, Bechtel Power Corp.; Gary Zyhowski, Honeywell; and Mike Ronzello, Pratt & Whitney Power Systems. A second session will highlight geothermal policy and economics, exploring the role of federal and state governments and what industry needs in order to accelerate growth. Speakers include Karl Gawell, Geothermal Energy Association; John McIlveen, Jacob Securities Inc.; and Halley Dickey, TAS Energy.

On Thursday, February 16, a paper-and-presentation session will feature how geothermal energy developers increasingly use waste heat recovery and the Organic Rankine Cycle for increased efficiency. Speakers featured include A. Scott Weber, University of Buffalo; Bruno Vanslambrouck, HOWEST, University College of West Flanders; Joe Lillard, Atlas Copco Mafi-Trench; and Kelsey Walker, TAS Energy.

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association composed of U.S. companies who support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are developing geothermal resources worldwide for electrical power generation and direct-heat uses. GEA advocates for public policies that will promote the development and utilization of geothermal resources, provides a forum for the industry to discuss issues and problems, encourages research and development to improve geothermal technologies, presents industry views to governmental organizations, provides assistance for the export of geothermal goods and services, compiles statistical data about the geothermal industry, and conducts education and outreach projects.