Portland Business Journal – by Matthew Kish Business Journal managing editor
Congressman Earl Blumenauer has introduced a bill that would give a significant boost to geothermal energy developers, a critical part of Oregon’s green economy.
The Portland Democrat’s bill, H.R. 5612, would give a 30 percent tax credit for investments in geothermal energy projects.
Geothermal energy is produced when extreme underground temperatures heat water to produce steam, much like a conventional boiler.
It becomes renewable when production facilities, which run the steam through a turbine, reinject the water back into the ground so it can reheat.
“We are literally standing on one of the best solutions to the energy equation, which is the natural heat of the earth,” Blumenauer said in a news release. “The United States has more geothermal capacity than any other country, and by harnessing this heat we can generate clean, homegrown energy that won’t spill into the oceans or exacerbate global warming.”
Oregon ended 2009 ranked third in total U.S. geothermal capacity under development, with 13 projects at various stages of development that together could yield 370 megawatts, according to a January report by the Geothermal Energy Association, a Washington, D.C., trade group. That’s roughly enough to power 370,000 homes.
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