Geothermal Power: A Dark Horse in Renewable Energy

Geothermal power technologies

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When you mention the words “renewable energy,” most people immediately think of wind and solar. Over the last decade, renewables in the United States (excluding hydropower) have more than tripled.

In 2009, renewables reached 53 gigawatts of installed capacity. Renewables have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent since 2000.

It’s no big secret that wind and solar are the fastest-growing renewable sectors. In 2009 alone, wind installations here grew by 39 percent and solar PW grew by nearly 52 percent.

Even with these heady growth figures, renewables represent a very small percentage of our overall installed electrical generation capacity: about 4.7 percent as of the end of 2009.

The renewable that’s garnered the least amount of attention in America’s three-year push to renewables is geothermal energy. In stark contrast to the growth figures for solar and wind, geothermal has grown a mere 1.2 percent annually from 2000 to 2009.

In spite of those dismal growth figures, the United States leads the world in geothermal installed capacity at about 15.2 GW as of the end of 2009. Most of that is installed in California.

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1 Comment to “Geothermal Power: A Dark Horse in Renewable Energy”

  1. By kat, December 13, 2012 @ 2:01 AM

    so… even in other places around the world geothermal energy is also being considered as a dark horse?

    wow. in a way, that’s sort of… comforting. i mean, at least being touted as a “dark horse” means that the potential of geothermal energy is ultimately undeniable, right? in addition, there are also people who see it too.

    it’s just that here in the philippines, projects like the bulusan geothermal are more or less being seen as a bane: no one would really benefit from having a geothermal plant, the environmental repercussions, etc. etc…

    hopefully, in due time geothermal energy would prove itself as a sustainable and viable energy source. actually, here’s to hoping that other forms of renewable energy will soon be adopted by different nations around the world, so as to wean the world off of its dependence on fossil fuels.

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