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August 2014 Policy Study, Number 14-3


Geothermal Energy: Important Potential in the U.S. and Iowa





All energy is not correct for all uses.  There is not one single answer to the energy generation and use question.  Building a varied and strong portfolio of energy sources is a wise economic and conservation decision for our state, separate from all the hype and politicking of the global warming lobby.  Coal, oil, nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources all have their place in the market.  Geothermal energy has not received the same attention and focus over the past 20 years, for a wide variety of reasons.  This should change. 


Geothermal energy, whether a commercial or industrial electricity generation and resale facility, or individual homeowner system, deserves our attention.  We need new base-load power and we will need it sooner rather than later, if the experience in California is any indication.  The current tax credits focused on residential and small commercial geothermal energy use in Iowa are useful.  A new focus needs to be on following up on the data showing the potential for commercial geothermal in Southeastern Iowa and disseminating that information in pursuit of greater commercial use and development.  There may just be gold deep under those hills, as well as jobs on top!




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