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Consider Policy Options for Geothermal Electricity Generation

The fourth step in developing geothermal electricity generation policy involves different types of policy options that can help expand the deployment of geothermal electricity power generation by taking the risk of initial costs off the end-user. Options include utility mandates and standards; direct cash incentives; regulatory policies; tax incentives; financing; outreach and training; and lead-by-example policies.

It may be helpful to project or estimate the impacts of an array of policy choices to increase the likelihood that the chosen policy option will meet the objective of your policy.

Increased Development Step 5 Implement Policies Step 4 Consider Policy Options Step 3 Evaluate Current Policy Step 2 Identify Challenges to Local Development Step 1 Assess the Local Industry and Resource Potential
Policy Options Definition Example

Utility Mandates and Standards

Used to enhance energy diversity and security, promote economic development, and mitigate climate change Learn more.

Interconnection Standards

Renewables Portfolio Standards

Direct Cash Incentives

Used to fund a portion of initial equipment and installation costs, which are often high, or to offset resource assessments, feasibility studies, or other pre-development costs. Learn more.

Feed-in Tariffs


Regulatory Provisions

Used to address non-standard application processes or lack of clarity regarding permitting requirements. Learn more.

Delineated Resource Ownership

Expanded Transmission Infrastructure

Single Agency Permitting

Standardized Leasing Practices

Standardized Permitting Processes

Tax Incentives

Can be used to offset costs of developing a geothermal power project, or to assist in project economics by providing additional incentives based on power production rates. States often use tax incentives to provide an incremental motivation for development. Learn more.

Property Tax Incentives

Sales Tax Incentives

Tax Credits


Can be used to lower the cost of capital or reallocate investor and lender risk.Learn more.

Direct Government Loans

Loan Guarantees

Outreach and Training

Helps provide key infrastructure elements necessary for geothermal development, including technology knowledge, workforce training, and technical assistance. Learn more.

Outreach and Education

Resource Assessment

Technical Assistance

Workforce Development

Lead-By-Example Policies

Used to promote increased use of geothermal energy or directly invest in emerging technology demonstration or research. Learn more.

Green Power Purchasing for Public Buildings

Public-Private Partnerships and Cost Sharing Agreements

Next, implement the policies you have chosen.