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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Geothermal and Water Alternative Energy Sources

California Geothermal Energy Collaborative

Growth potential: To meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals, geothermal resource utilization will need to be dramatically increased.

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California Geothermal Energy Background

Forty-six of the fifty-eight counties in California have low temperature geothermal resources, some of which are currently being exploited for space heating and cooling, and commercial and industrial applications. These instances of direct-use of geothermal energy reduce electrical power demand while exploiting an energy source that is clean, renewable and reliable.

Geothermal Renewable Energy Sources

Geothermal energy production accounts for approximately half of all power produced by renewable energy sources in California. It is estimated that an additional ca. 7,000 GWh/year could be generated from California’s geothermal resources. In addition to electrical power generation, geothermal energy is also a potential source for useful thermal energy.

California Geothermal Energy Collaborative

Funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) through the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program, The California Geothermal Energy Collaborative (CGEC) Project is a research and development project.

The purpose of the CGEC Project is to expand the sustainable use of geothermal resources to meet California’s energy needs.

Growth Potential to Meed Renewable Portfolio Standards

To meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals, geothermal resource utilization will need to be dramatically increased. Greater coordination between geothermal energy developers and researchers, environmental groups, electricity suppliers and government agencies must be improved.

Because geothermal energy resources contribute to electrical power generation as well as other thermal power demands that impact electrical power usage, this coordination challenge is complex and broad-based.

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative (CGEC) is to:
  • Expand California’s confirmed geothermal resource base;
  • Improve the contribution of geothermal energy to Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals;
  • Identify and communicate geothermal related transmission issues and opportunities;
  • Coordinate with California Native American tribes as geothermal stakeholders;
  • Promote utilization of geothermal energy in California by engaging in outreach activities.

The CGEC Advisory Group is comprised of organizations from state and federal agencies; national laboratories and universities; educational, tribal and trade associations; geothermal companies; utility companies; irrigation districts; and consultants.

The Advisory Group members and their websites are listed below in alphabetical order:

Bureau of Land Management, California Office

California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources

California Energy Commission, Energy Generation Research Office

California Institute for Energy and Environment

California State Lands Commission

Calpine Corporation - The Geysers

Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT)

Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies

DOE, GeoPowering the West

Geothermal Education Office

Geothermal Energy Association

Geothermal Resource Council

Imperial Irrigation District

Inter-Tribal Council of California

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. & Subsidiary CalEnergy Virtual Plant Tour

Ormat Corporation

Pacific Gas and Electric, Renewable Energy

Sacramento Municipal District

Sandia National Laboratories

San Diego Gas & Electric

USGS Western Region

California Geothermal Energy Collaborative

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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