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Geothermal Energy Expo 2011 saw record attendance

The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo 2011 recorded record attendance this year with over 2500 attendees from 33 different states and 13 different countries.

By Kari Williamson

The 160 exhibitors included Ormat, NALCO, Siemens, Geothermal Resource Group, POWER Engineers, Íslandsbanki, Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, Mitsubishi Power Systems and TNG Energy Services.

A new map from Southern Methodist University's Geothermal Lab, created with help from a grant from Google's philanthropic arm, estimates the US could potentially generate nearly 3 TW using geothermal energy.

A total of 43 states in the USA now have companies involved in geothermal development operations.

“In California, geothermal is already providing over 40% of the renewable energy mix and we’re barely scratching the surface. The industry has the potential to be a jobs creator while lessening America’s dependence on fossil fuels. But just like any fledgling sector, we need long term stable policy to continue this growth,” says GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell.

“We have about 700 MW of projects in the near-term pipeline, but projects coming on-line after 2013 needs signals now about what to expect from federal and state policies. With geothermal projects taking three to five years to get through the permitting and into construction, the two most important actions that would spur sustained geothermal development are extending the Federal tax incentives to 2016 and finding ways to cut project time-lines in half,” Gawell adds.

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