Governors Launch 'Heat Beneath Our Feet' Geothermal Initiative

Governor Jared Polis of Colorado launched The Heat Beneath Our Feet (HBOF) as his 2023 Western Governors Association Chair Initiative. The initiative will examine opportunities for and barriers to the increased deployment of geothermal energy technologies for both electricity generation and heating and cooling systems in western states, which contain the vast majority of high-yield geothermal energy capacity in the U.S.
Governors Launch

Geothermal energy represents a potentially valuable, but underdeveloped, energy resource in the West. Geothermal energy has applications for both utilityscale electricity generation and heating and cooling needs within buildings. 

The Heat Beneath Our Feet initiative will examine the various market, technology and policy factors that affect the development and deployment of geothermal technologies, and evaluate strategies to scale geothermal technologies across the West considering different energy policy landscapes, available geothermal resources, and technology and workforce maturity, and how these factors influence the potential deployment of geothermal solutions.

It will seek to develop key findings on geothermal energy applications, land use planning, and market barriers in the West. It will also assess opportunities to improve federal mapping of and access to geothermal energy reserves and project permitting procedures on federal public lands. Initiative findings will be memorialized in an Initiative Report to be released at the WGA 2023 Annual Meeting, to be held in Boulder, Colorado.

This survey is intended to help WGA design the initiative by identifying:

(1) priority issues for gubernatorial leadership, including regulatory, technical, economic, and workforce opportunities for states to support the development of geothermal projects;

(2) best practices and case studies for geothermal energy development;

(3) federal policy issues for potential WGA advocacy;

(4) individuals or organizations interested in participating in workshops and other opportunities for engagement; and

(5) current markets for technologies and companies. 

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