Geothermal Production Ramp Up
California's Northern Bay Area is home to the largest geothermal energy producer in the country. Geothermal energy supplies about 5% of all of California's needs.
The rising costs of oil and growing concerns about global warming have led to new legislation in California that requires energy companies to produce a 20% renewable energy portfolio by 2010. This has many companies scrambling to find the most effective method in achieving the goal. Should they not meet the goal they face harsh fines.
The geothermal plants in Sonoma County has been producing the same amount of energy the past 47 years. But now geothermal is getting another good look at its potential. The geothermal fields that emit a foul stench of sulfur are highly under utilized. Studies have estimated that an additional 3,000 to 10,000 Megawatts of energy can be generated in California. With the state adding incentives for renewable energy as well, the prospect of geothermal energy production is getting ramped up. Many new plants are being considered and expansions at existing geothermal plants are already underway.
Its exciting to see the energy and media attention all of the renewable energy market has been getting lately. California's wind farms and geothermal plants and solar plants, and Oregon's tidal wave projects all add up to a movement that will ultimately bring a positive future for all us.