Monday, October 15, 2012

Geothermal energy in Nevada – Current outlook

There is a very positive outlook for the future development of geothermal energy industry in Nevada, even despite the fact that California still remains nation's geothermal leader. Nevada is currently the second largest U.S. state in terms of installed geothermal capacity, but in terms of new geothermal energy projects under development in No.1, with 86 geothermal energy projects in the development that once completed should add 3500 MW of new geothermal capacity to the grid.

Once these new geothermal projects go online Nevada could even overtake California, and become nation's geothermal energy leader, though this scenario will certainly take at least a decade before becoming reality.

Geothermal energy industry in Nevada has all the necessary prerequisites needs for success, not only does that Silver State has abundant geothermal energy resources at its disposal but it also has plenty of available land for lease through the Bureau of Land Management together with enough qualified labor force to support new geothermal energy projects.

The only thing that Nevada still has to work on is new transmission lines because new geothermal project can't go online without the adequate transmission system. The state has already talked about building new transmission lines, especially in Northern Nevada, as this should give this region a much better access to the regional grid, making it easier to sell geothermal power.

Northern part of the state is the area of the richest geothermal activity which makes this area a perfect location to most of new geothermal energy projects, of course given the fact that the transmission issue is solved at time.

The states of Nevada and California are really the only two positive examples of geothermal energy development in United States. Geothermal energy is still connected with high upfront costs, and in order to decrease this costs entire U.S. geothermal energy industry will require more funds to finance new research.

The funds for new geothermal energy projects should be given only after thorough examination in order to avoid situations like in July, 2012 when a loan guarantee of $98 was given to Nevada Geothermal Power company that has been in serious financial trouble. Such action give geothermal a negative image in public, and this is the last thing this renewable energy sector needs.