For several years, the Geothermal Exchange Organization and multiple geothermal manufacturers have been working to include geothermal heat pumps in the federal definition of clean energy. After receiving support on both sides of Congress, GEO president and CEO Doug Dougherty said the organization is increasingly optimistic that this goal will be accomplished this year.
GEO sees success in promoting geothermal
After struggling to get geothermal energy included in the mainstream of renewable resources, there is finally a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
GEO president and CEO Doug Dougherty said, "The unfortunate reality is that Congress has not been able to pass any energy bill in that time, so we patiently wait for an alternative vehicle that suits our goal. The good news is that GEO's hard work on the Hill has produced an agreed-to amendment for the Shaheen-Portman energy-efficiency bill in the Senate that had bipartisan support and no opposition by energy committee members. We also worked on the House side and have a bipartisan bill ready to be introduced that is supported by members of the House Energy Committee," according to ARCH News.
Massachusetts has recently added geothermal energy to the official list of favorable energy sources that should be used to help the state meet its renewable energy goals. State legislature signed a thermal energy bill that provides incentives that make financing geothermal systems and many other thermal renewable energy heating and cooling alternatives easier, according to the GeoExchange.
An "unseen hero" set to finally rise in the energy market
Steve Smith, president and CEO, Enertech Global LLC, said commercial geothermal systems are the "unseen heroes" as opposed to its solar and wind counterparts that are more widely promoted in most states.
According to ARCH News, in regard to solar power and wind, Smith said, "Both are very important to our long-term energy independence goals. However, the most important source of renewable energy available to everyone today is geothermal heating and cooling, which we tend to forget is a very important renewable source, even though we are not generating electricity and sending it back to the grid. We are doing one better, we are generating energy to use on site, eliminating the need for transmission lines to send energy elsewhere. It is like having a power plant in your own backyard."
Dougherty is confident that despite the fact that a revised federal definition of the energy source would help make expansion easier, geothermal systems will continue to make progress at a state level. This confidence stems from the fact that geothermal systems have be proven to be highly efficient, economically friendly, reliable and affordable for consumers.
States like New York, which has begun to include incentives for customers that invest in geothermal energy systems have played crucial roles in giving home and business owners a much better opportunity to learn more about what a geothermal system can do for them.
Knowledge of geothermal systems is essential to the success and expansion of the renewable energy source. Once a home or business owner has a better grasp on how the system works, the fact that it generates power 24/7 will make it a more popular option among consumers. Since the alternative energy source currently accounts for a mere 2 percent of nationwide energy consumption, better recognition and promotion of the product will greatly help consumer interest soar to new heights.
Therefore, the combination of the states that have already begun pushing geothermal energy and the confidence of the GEO is a good indicator that the energy source is set to become a top renewable energy solution alongside solar power and wind.