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Title: Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Land Access Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios

Abstract

Developers have identified many non-technical barriers to geothermal power development, including access to land. Activities required for accessing land, such as environmental review and private and public leasing can take a considerable amount of time and can delay or prevent project development. This paper discusses the impacts to available geothermal resources and deployment caused by land access challenges, including tribal and cultural resources, environmentally sensitive areas, biological resources, land ownership, federal and state lease queues, and proximity to military installations. In this analysis, we identified challenges that have the potential to prevent development of identified and undiscovered hydrothermal geothermal resources. We found that an estimated 400 MW of identified geothermal resource potential and 4,000 MW of undiscovered geothermal resource potential were either unallowed for development or contained one or more significant barriers that could prevent development at the site. Potential improvement scenarios that could be employed to overcome these barriers include (1) providing continuous funding to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for processing geothermal leases and permit applications and (2) the creation of advanced environmental mitigation measures. The model results forecast that continuous funding to the USFS could result in deployment of an additional 80 MW of geothermal capacity bymore » 2030 and 124 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The creation of advanced environmental mitigation measures coupled with continuous funding to the USFS could result in deployment of an additional 97 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 152 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The small impact on potential deployment in these improvement scenarios suggests that these 4,400 MW have other barriers to development in addition to land access. In other words, simply making more resources available for development does not increase deployment; however, impacts to deployment could increase when coupled with other improvements (e.g., permitting, market and/or technology improvements).« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
OSTI Identifier:
1423748
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-6A20-68851
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the Geothermal Resources Council 41st Annual Meeting - Geothermal Energy: Power To Do More (GRC 2017), 1-4 October 2017, Salt Lake City, Utah
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; environmental; geothermal; geothermal resource potential; land access; leasing; regulatory

Citation Formats

Levine, Aaron L, and Young, Katherine R. Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Land Access Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Levine, Aaron L, & Young, Katherine R. Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Land Access Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios. United States.
Levine, Aaron L, and Young, Katherine R. Wed . "Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Land Access Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios". United States.
@article{osti_1423748,
title = {Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Land Access Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios},
author = {Levine, Aaron L and Young, Katherine R},
abstractNote = {Developers have identified many non-technical barriers to geothermal power development, including access to land. Activities required for accessing land, such as environmental review and private and public leasing can take a considerable amount of time and can delay or prevent project development. This paper discusses the impacts to available geothermal resources and deployment caused by land access challenges, including tribal and cultural resources, environmentally sensitive areas, biological resources, land ownership, federal and state lease queues, and proximity to military installations. In this analysis, we identified challenges that have the potential to prevent development of identified and undiscovered hydrothermal geothermal resources. We found that an estimated 400 MW of identified geothermal resource potential and 4,000 MW of undiscovered geothermal resource potential were either unallowed for development or contained one or more significant barriers that could prevent development at the site. Potential improvement scenarios that could be employed to overcome these barriers include (1) providing continuous funding to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for processing geothermal leases and permit applications and (2) the creation of advanced environmental mitigation measures. The model results forecast that continuous funding to the USFS could result in deployment of an additional 80 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 124 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The creation of advanced environmental mitigation measures coupled with continuous funding to the USFS could result in deployment of an additional 97 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 152 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The small impact on potential deployment in these improvement scenarios suggests that these 4,400 MW have other barriers to development in addition to land access. In other words, simply making more resources available for development does not increase deployment; however, impacts to deployment could increase when coupled with other improvements (e.g., permitting, market and/or technology improvements).},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

Conference:
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