Study: California is a World Geothermal Leader | KCET
Study: California is a World Geothermal Leader
A study of the global geothermal industry reveals that seismically active California is the global leader in generating power from the Earth's heat. With more than 50 active geothermal plants generating up to two gigawatts of power, California generates two thirds of the U.S.'s geothermal power, and has more geothermal capacity than any other country.
The Aruvians Research report, "Analyzing Geothermal Power in the U.S.," is a survey of American geothermal energy and the economic and regulatory worlds in which it operates.
Explained: Understanding Geothermal
On a day-to-day basis, geothermal's actual contribution to California's power diet runs at about 900 megawatts, according to the California Independent System Operator. That works out to just under 21,000 megawatt-hours in the course of a day, around 3% of the state's power consumption.
Geothermal isn't without its problems. Geothermal water contains dissolved solids and gases that can be toxic, including heavy metals and hydrogen sulfide gas. Geothermal that relies on native groundwater can have a finite lifespan. California's first geothermal facility, The Geysers north of Napa Valley, has been declining in output since the late 1980s as the aquifer below is depleted.
But some geothermal resources seem to be growing. On Wednesday, Imperial County's Planning Commission approved an expansion of a geothermal plant in Heber. The plant, owned by Ormat, sells up to 92 megawatts of power to Southern California Edison and the Southern California Public Power Authority. The additional four wells approved by the Planning Commission would boost that capacity by around 10 megawatts.
For ongoing environmental coverage in March 2017 and afterward, please visit our show Earth Focus, or browse Redefine for historic material.
KCET's award-winning environment news project Redefine ran from July 2012 through February 2017.
Here are a few programs and articles we recommend to help center your Thanksgiving celebration on honoring and amplifying Native stories, seeking truth about our history, and acknowledging Indigenous presence and wisdom.
Here’s where to find five of L.A.’s most scenic bridge crossings — and why they’re fascinating destinations in their own right.
Children whose educations have been disrupted by the pandemic may suffer life-long consequences, including shorter life spans, according to a study released today by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Many artists find work has dried up due to COVID-19, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop working entirely. Several artists and people who work with artists share their best tips on things to do when work is slow.
- 1 of 398
- next ›