The White House to be represented at GEA State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing

According to the Geothermal Energy Association, the U.S. added 147.05 MW of gross geothermal power capacity in 2012, which is 5 per cent more than in 2011.

With its State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing (#GEABriefing2013) one week away, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) announced Dan Utech, deputy director for energy and climate change at The White House, will address geothermal industry leaders, congressional staffers and government agencies when they convene in Washington, D.C. for the release of the 2013 Annual GEA Industry Update and a discussion on how to move the U.S. geothermal industry forward.

The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

“As evidenced by President Obama’s State of the Union address, individuals and organizations at the national and international levels agree that renewable energy growth will be a key factor in ushering in the era of American clean energy independence,” said GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. “The U.S. geothermal industry has abundant potential, and we’re thrilled to have the White House join the discussion on how our industry plans to unearth that potential.”

The event’s half-day agenda will include discussions on key opportunities and obstacles for industry growth in the United States, the role of technological advancements in geothermal development, and methods for shortening permitting time for new projects. In addition to Utech, prominent industry and government speakers include Kathy Benedetto, House Resources Committee; Tom Williams, Laboratory Program Manager, Geothermal Technologies National Renewable Energy Laboratory; John Fox, CEO, ElectraTherm; Paul Thomsen, Director, Policy and Business Development, Ormat Technologies; Ann Robertson-Tait, GeothermEx; and David Blackwell, Southern Methodist University.

Geothermal can provide both firm and flexible power. It can bring the reliability of 24/7 baseload power or complement other energy technologies by firming up more intermittent power generation. It can also provide power for small co-production projects to large utility scale power plants. Preliminary GEA data show that year-end geothermal growth of installed capacity in 2012 was up 5% from the previous year, with 147.05 MW of gross capacity coming online over the calendar year. This represents the second highest increase in geothermal power capacity over a calendar year since the production tax credit (PTC) was extended to geothermal in 2005. GEA also revised its estimate of total installed U.S. capacity by 128 MW, increasing the estimate to 3,386 MW.

In 2012, seven geothermal projects came online, including the first co-production plant and first hybrid solar-geothermal plant. There are also 177 U.S. geothermal projects currently in development, equal to more than 5,300 MW of power. Of this development, more than 2,600 MW in potential capacity additions are expected. California, the worldwide geothermal leader, now has over 2,700 MW of installed geothermal capacity, while Nevada surpassed the 500 MW threshold in 2012.

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association comprised 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