Challenging economics, imperfect planning and permitting processes and lack in incentives let geothermal development stall in California, despite the State’s great geothermal resources.
The recently held National Geothermal Summit by the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association in Sacramento, California highlighted the fact that the “industry is stalled in California”, so Karl Gawell, Executive Director of GEA.
As reported by local papers, “Gawell said the current state of geothermal development statewide – still moving, but “treading water” – is ironic, because California has a wealth of underground geothermal resources.
He blamed a combination of factors, including the economy, cost, red tape and the degree of cooperation among numerous public and private entities.”
That is indeed a shame as California has with The Geysers geothermal complex, one of the most famous geothermal power sites. But the general pace of development is clearly falling short of everyone’s expectation.
While the economic woes of California might be one issue, competition for attention with other energy sources is a challenge, as is the planning and permitting process and necessary improvements to incentives for geothermal power development in the U.S. and particularly in California.