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Current Federal Policies for Geothermal Heating and Cooling Technologies

This table can help you identify the federal policies in place that apply to geothermal heating and cooling technologies. It is important to explore these when developing geothermal heating and cooling policy. States also use a variety of policies to support clean energy development. See current state policies already in place.

Current Policy Description Applicable Technology
Auction Regulations Energy Policy Act of 2005. Amended leasing regulations for geothermal resources located on federal lands, opening the resource nomination process to the market. Direct-use
Energy Policy Act of 2005 Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit 30% residential renewable energy tax credit applies to ground source heat pumps. Effective January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2016. Ground Source Heat Pump
Grants/Loans/Loan Guarantees Geothermal projects can receive U.S. Department of Energy Tribal Energy Program grants and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for America Program grants. Federal government has been authorized to provide loan guarantees for geothermal energy projects under Title XVII of Energy Policy Act of 2005. Direct-use, Ground Source Heat Pump
Investment Tax Credit 10% investment tax credit for all expenditures on geothermal equipment except those required for transmission. No expiration date. Direct-use, Ground Source Heat Pump
Investment Tax Credit/Cash Grant Program Section 1603 of Recovery Act allows taxable entities developing geothermal projects to take the 10% corporate investment tax credit as a cash grant. Direct-use, Ground Source Heat Pump
Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System An IRS-implemented incentive that allows for accelerated depreciation on a 5-year tax schedule. Direct-use, Ground Source Heat Pump
Recovery Act Research and Demonstration Recovery Act provides $350 million for geothermal research and demonstration. $50 million available for ground source heat pump demonstration projects. Direct-use, Ground Source Heat Pump
Resource Assessment In 2008, U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study of moderate- and high- temperature geothermal resources in 13 states, as authorized in Energy Policy Act of 2005. Study focused on the western United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and identified all known geothermal resource areas and analyzed geologic features that facilitate the formation of geothermal systems. Also sought to identify regions that may be viable for enhanced geothermal power development specifically in the western United States. Work demonstrates a large resource and identifies potentially high-value areas where geothermal energy production is likely to be viable. Direct-use
Unitization Allows multiple landowners or federal leaseholders to develop a vast reservoir as one unit rather than limiting individuals to the specific property rights assigned by a lease or deed. Generally allows for the most efficient development of the resource and reduces the required investments in equipment. Procedures outlined in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Direct-use