NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Geothermal isn't a dead-end technology limited to hot springs areas. Nor is it part of a dream of the distant future. It's an important and growing component of current U.S. energy grids, particularly in the West. More importantly, plants can be located almost anywhere; the technology is tested and ready to be built.
The problem is the industry is stuck waiting for the economic opportunity to deploy new facilities, partly as a result of inadequate state and federal policies and partly as result of the expense of developing and maintaining its wells and plants. Waiting patiently behind fossil fuels for the last 100 years for its moment to shine in the U.S. energy economy, geothermal finds itself playing second fiddle instead to newer technologies like solar and wind power.
Noting the sharply ramping growth of geothermal power globally compared to the relatively "anemic" growth in the U.S., Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association, laid the responsibility on the doorsteps of government policymakers.
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