Forum on Geothermal Projects, Policies

The Geothermal Energy Association’s (GEA) one-day Global Geothermal Showcase and Forum, to be held May 21 in Washington, D.C., will provide a showcase of current geothermal projects and policies in the United States and around the world.

The day’s agenda will include presentations and panel discussions by United States and international government representatives on geothermal power and heating, as well as an overview of GEA’s forthcoming international and U.S. geothermal industry updates by GEA staff and others.

Other topics to be covered include national and international policies to support geothermal development, the global potential for geothermal energy, geothermal heat pumps, and geothermal research and technology developments. There also will be limited space for tabletop displays for companies who wish to showcase their respective organizations and projects.

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Incentives for Geothermal Systems

Connecticut is dedicating $4.5 million in federal stimulus funds to help homeowners, businesses and nonprofit groups pay for the installation of geothermal heat pump systems, an investment that should lower fuel and electricity bills, and promote use of alternative energy.

The new Geothermal Heat Pump Incentive Program is part of the State Energy Plan that has qualified for $38 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The plan includes programs that provide incentives to use alternative energy in homes and businesses, expand fuel cell initiatives, make state buildings more energy-efficient, and create green-collar jobs needed for emerging technologies.

The incentive program will be administered by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a ratepayer fund that promotes, develops and invests in clean energy resources for the benefit of Connecticut’s electric ratepayers.

CCEF officials say that there is enough funding available to support the installation of about 300 geothermal heat pump systems per year until April 2012, when the federal program ends. The systems can supply up to 100 percent of a customer’s peak heating and cooling load.

“The Geothermal Heat Pump Incentive Program will help to focus the public’s attention on this well-proven technology for reducing the energy needed to heat and cool our homes and buildings,” says CCEF president Lise Dondy. “In particular, the program will encourage Connecticut’s HVAC workforce to expand its skills in the geothermal arena, and will stimulate residential and commercial geothermal installations by improving the return on investment.”  ND