Jefferson W. Tester is a professor of sustainable energy systems, director of the Cornell Energy Institute, associate director of Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and one of the world’s leading experts on geothermal energy development. Tester calls a bill to promote U.S. geothermal energy development, now before the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, a strong step toward job growth and energy security.
“During this time of gridlock in Washington it is very refreshing to see senators Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Begich of Alaska taking a strong leadership position that connects renewable energy deployment to providing both energy security and creating jobs in America.
“If passed, their bill will accelerate our utilization of geothermal energy on a very large scale – including the deployment of geothermal heat pumps and using geothermal heat directly for heating homes. In addition, the bill provides for loan assistance to developers, which directly addresses the higher risks and uncertainties associated with exploration.
“The development of our indigenous geothermal resources is clearly in the best interests of the country as it can provide sustainable base load electric power and heat, complementing efforts to increase other renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro and biomass.
“The technology and methods needed to extract deep geothermal energy in many ways parallels technologies being employed today for oil and gas, with three key differences – the geothermal resource is huge, it won’t run out if managed correctly, and for our use it needs to be developed on U.S. soil and not in other countries.
Note: Professor Tester is not related to U.S. Sen. Tester.
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