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

Abstract

Developers have identified many non-technical barriers to geothermal power development, including permitting. Activities required for permitting, such as the associated environmental reviews, can take a considerable amount of time and delay project development. This paper discusses the impacts to geothermal development timelines due to the permitting challenges, including the regulatory framework, environmental review process, and ancillary permits. We identified barriers that have the potential to prevent geothermal development or delay timelines and defined improvement scenarios that could assist in expediting geothermal development and permitting timelines and lead to the deployment of additional geothermal resources by 2030 and 2050: (1) the creation of a centralized federal geothermal permitting office and utilization of state permit coordination offices as well as (2) an expansion of existing categorical exclusions applicable to geothermal development on Bureau of Land Management public lands to include the oil and gas categorical exclusions passed as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. We utilized the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) and the Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model (GETEM) to forecast baseline geothermal deployment based on previous analysis of geothermal project development and permitting timelines. The model results forecast that reductions in geothermal project timelines can have a significantmore » impact on geothermal deployment. For example, using the ReEDS model, we estimated that reducing timelines by two years, perhaps due to the creation of a centralized federal geothermal permitting office and utilization of state permit coordination offices, could result in deployment of an additional 204 MW by 2030 and 768 MW by 2050 - a 13% improvement when compared to the business as usual scenario. The model results forecast that a timeline improvement of four years - for example with an expansion of existing categorical exclusions coupled with the creation of a centralized federal geothermal permitting office and utilization of state permit coordination offices - could result in deployment of an additional 2,529 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 6,917 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 - an improvement of 116% when compared to the business as usual scenario. These results suggest that reducing development timelines could be a large driver in the deployment of geothermal resources.« 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:
1423757
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-6A20-68852
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; permitting; environmental; geothermal; GeoRePORT; development timelines; NEPA

Citation Formats

Levine, Aaron L, and Young, Katherine R. Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Permitting 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 Permitting Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios. United States.
Levine, Aaron L, and Young, Katherine R. Wed . "Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Permitting Barriers to Geothermal Development and Potential Improvement Scenarios". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1423757,
title = {Crossing the Barriers: An Analysis of Permitting 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 permitting. Activities required for permitting, such as the associated environmental reviews, can take a considerable amount of time and delay project development. This paper discusses the impacts to geothermal development timelines due to the permitting challenges, including the regulatory framework, environmental review process, and ancillary permits. We identified barriers that have the potential to prevent geothermal development or delay timelines and defined improvement scenarios that could assist in expediting geothermal development and permitting timelines and lead to the deployment of additional geothermal resources by 2030 and 2050: (1) the creation of a centralized federal geothermal permitting office and utilization of state permit coordination offices as well as (2) an expansion of existing categorical exclusions applicable to geothermal development on Bureau of Land Management public lands to include the oil and gas categorical exclusions passed as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. We utilized the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) and the Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model (GETEM) to forecast baseline geothermal deployment based on previous analysis of geothermal project development and permitting timelines. The model results forecast that reductions in geothermal project timelines can have a significant impact on geothermal deployment. For example, using the ReEDS model, we estimated that reducing timelines by two years, perhaps due to the creation of a centralized federal geothermal permitting office and utilization of state permit coordination offices, could result in deployment of an additional 204 MW by 2030 and 768 MW by 2050 - a 13% improvement when compared to the business as usual scenario. The model results forecast that a timeline improvement of four years - for example with an expansion of existing categorical exclusions coupled with the creation of a centralized federal geothermal permitting office and utilization of state permit coordination offices - could result in deployment of an additional 2,529 MW of geothermal capacity by 2030 and 6,917 MW of geothermal capacity by 2050 - an improvement of 116% when compared to the business as usual scenario. These results suggest that reducing development timelines could be a large driver in the deployment of geothermal resources.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Oct 04 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Oct 04 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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