Geothermal energy could be about to challenge solar and wind power as one of the fastest-growing renewable sources in the U.S., according to the projections made by the Department of Energy in a recent report: GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath our Feet.
According to the most optimistic outlook for geothermal production, the industry could grow to 60 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2050. This would be equivalent to more than 8 percent of U.S. energy output, up from the current level of 0.4 percent. Even with a less ambitious goal, the sector could still expand to produce 13 gigawatts of energy merely by streamlining regulations and taking steps to improve the approval process for new projects.
“There is enormous untapped potential for geothermal energy in the United States,” Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “Making geothermal more affordable can increase our energy options for a more diverse electricity generation mix and for innovative heating and cooling solutions for all Americans.”