RFF Senior Fellow Dan Shawhan discusses the future of geothermal energy in a newsletter entry for POLITICO Morning Energy.
But the technology faces significant cost headwinds. The Energy Information Administration puts the initial costs for a geothermal energy field and plant at far higher figures than for wind and solar. And there are environmental concerns, with the potential for sulfur dioxide emissions and increased seismic activity.
Still, its backers highlight its room for growth as policymakers look to the technology kitchen sink in reducing emissions.
“If geothermal were to become affordable, then there's tremendous potential for it to be adopted for electricity generation,” Daniel Shawhan, a fellow with Resources for the Future, told Jonathan. “It really could provide a large portion of the world's energy. And in particular, it could be the missing piece in affordably [and] inexpensively achieving [a] net-zero emissions economy."