Dear Geothermal Energy,
Happy Geothermal Day! Today, we are celebrating you and only you, one of our favorite sources of renewable energy. While hidden beneath the crust, we know how valuable you are. You have a place in our hearts. Let us count the ways we love you:
- You are always there for us. We love that you are an always-available and reliable source of clean energy. We know that the heat beneath our feet will be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep us warm (and cool!).
- You are dependable and flexible. Because you are a baseload source, capable of producing power 24/7, you are always there. You are also flexible because your power output can be ramped up or down, responding quickly to our needs.
- You can store energy for later.
You offer energy storage capabilities underground, which is critical for grid stability and flexibility, and complements intermittent renewables like solar and wind. Your ability to immediately heat and cool our homes, buildings, and communities at any time does not go unnoticed.
- You have potential
. In the United States, you have the potential to generate 129 GWe of electricity by 2050. This is equivalent to powering 129 million homes, or powering all the homes in Texas 12 times over! Currently, the U.S. leads the world in your electricity generation.
- You have a tiny footprint. You are a carbon-free renewable with the smallest physical footprint of all of the renewable energy sources generating the same amount of power.
- You can be anywhere you are needed.
Your energy goes beyond the power sector. Your heat pumps offer efficient heating and cooling systems for homeowners, communities, and businesses across the country.
- You can meet the demands of many.
Your power production can boost domestic supply of critical materials. Lithium extraction from your brines, currently in the Salton Sea area in California, can boost domestic supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles. The need for lithium has become critical as only 1% of U.S. lithium is sourced domestically.
- You can help remote communities. We love your caring nature
. You can be deployed in rural and electrically islanded communities. You can supply heating and cooling and small dispatchable electricity production to those that might be relying on propane and diesel for their heating needs.
Thank you for being you, geothermal. You are a critical piece to an energy strategy that will lead our nation to a fully decarbonized grid and clean economy.