- Policy Platforms
The final installment of The Heat Beneath Our Feet webinar series explored the growing use of ground source heat pumps and what communities can do to best leverage this exciting technology.
For this discussion, WGA was joined by Jeff Hammond, Executive Director of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, Heather Deese, Senior Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs at Dandelion Energy, Ryan Dougherty, President of The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), and and Terry Proffer, GeoExchange Designer and Geologist with Major Geothermal.
As the nation seeks to meet its ambitious zero-emission goals, the potential for geothermal energy to provide low-carbon dispatchable power has been well documented. Geothermal experts, however, say that this potential will only be realized if geothermal energy is provided with the same level of government support that oil, gas, solar, and wind enjoyed during their nascent phases.
As part of Governor Polis’ Chair Initiative, The Heat Beneath Our Feet, WGA hosted a webinar to discuss strategies for incentivizing geothermal development, including ways that states can best leverage the new, “technology neutral” tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act and provide developers with more long-term certainty as to available incentives.
The Western Governors’ Association kicked off Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' WGA Chair Initiative, Heat Beneath Our Feet, with a tour of Colorado Mesa University’s geo-exchange heating system. This system heats and cools 19 buildings covering more than 1.2 million sq ft and saves Colorado Mesa University $1.2 million each year.
Following the tour, WGA hosted a webinar with geothermal experts to discuss how the system works, what opportunities exist for replicating this technology throughout the West, and the challenges to implementation.
The Western Governors’ Association recently conducted tours of Hawaii Volcanos National Park, the Puna Geothermal Venture, and the Blue Planet Energy Lab at Pu’uwa’awa’a Ranch with Hawaii Gov. David Ige.
Following the tours, WGA hosted a webianr with geothermal specialists and policy experts to discuss the potential for geothermally generated electricity to stabilize the grid and sustainably power emission-reducing technology like carbon capture plants, green hydrogen production, and electric vehicles.
Watch the webinar here and learn more about the geothermal facilites in Hawaii here.
Following a tour of Boise, Idaho's geothermal heating system, the oldest and laregest in the world, WGA hosted a webinar featuring Claudio Berti, Director and State Geologist at Idaho Geological Survey; Lorenzo Trimble, the Geothermal Program Lead at the Bureau of Land Management; and Jon Gunnerson, Geothermal Coordinator for the City of Boise.
Togeather they discussed the nuances of Boise’s geothermal system and opportunities to replicate this system throughout the West. They also examined strategies for improving the permitting process, and resource assessment mapping to help limit the financial risk of geothermal deployment.
Following a workshop at the Utah FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) facility, an underground field laboratory sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the uptake of geothermal resources around the world using Enhanced Geothermal Systems technologies, WGA hosted a webinar with Dr. Joseph Moore, the principal investigator at Utah FORGE, and Jaina Moan, the Director of External Affairs with the Nature Conservancy to exploreinto the tools and technology necessary to make this exciting practice a reality and provde affordable energy to millions of americans.
The latest installment of The Heat Beneath Our Feet webinar series, entitled 'More than Just Heat,' explored the potential for geothermal energy to aid in the production of hydrogen and improve energy storage.
For this discussion, WGA was joined by Keith Malone, the public affairs officer for the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership, and Sarah Jewett, the Vice President of Strategy for Fervo Energy.
The final workshop of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' WGA Chair initiative, The Heat Beneath Our Feet, featured a tour of the geothermal research facilities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with Gov. Polis and Alejandro Moreno, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.
To recap the discussions on the tour WGA hosted a webinar featuring Amanda Kolker, the laboratory program manager for Geothermal at NREL, Chris Markuson, the Western States Director with the BlueGreen Alliance, and Bryant Jones, the Executive Director of Geothermal Rising.
Together they discussed strategies for integrating geothermal resources onto the grid, opportunities to transition energy workers to the geothermal sector, and geothermal public education and market development.