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Lead-By-Example Policies for Geothermal Electricity Generation

By purchasing green power from geothermal electricity generation projects for government facilities or making a direct investment into geothermal power, state governments can lead by example. Efforts to lead by example using direct investments include public-private partnerships or cost-sharing agreements, which promote the use of geothermal energy and assist in research and demonstration projects.

Green Power Purchasing Requirements

To lead by example and promote energy standards for public buildings, nine states, some local governments, and the federal government are buying green power to account for a certain percentage of their electricity consumption. Four states—Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin—have formal policies that include geothermal electricity in the list of targeted resources used to achieve their procurement goals.

This commitment supports renewable energy by buying electricity from renewable resources, or by purchasing renewable energy credits. Green power purchases are typically executed via contracts with green power marketers or project developers, or through participation in utility green power programs. These lead-by-example policies can spur demand for renewable-based electricity, including geothermal.

Download the Guide to Purchasing Green Power for more information about the different types of green power products and the benefits of green power purchasing. The guide was produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency, the World Resources Institute, and the Center for Resource Solutions.

Public-Private Partnerships and Cost-Sharing Agreements

Public-private partnerships and cost-sharing agreements lead by example because they leverage limited government funds while dispersing risk and creating the space for new geothermal technologies to be implemented at the commercial scale. DOE has actively supported the development of pilot-scale commercial production of cellulosic biofuels through direct investment and loan. Similar efforts from various levels of government can facilitate development of new geothermal resource sites and technologies.

Learn more about other policy options to consider.