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US to Cut Funds for Geothermal & Hydropower – Renewable Energy Sources

October 16th, 2006 | No Comments | Posted in Energy- Renewable- Wave, Geothermal, Hydropower

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US to cut funds for two renewable energy sources

From the September 15, 2006 edition – CS Monitor. By Mark Clayton | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Geothermal and hydropower are mature enough for private enterprise to take the lead, the government says.

1. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is quitting the hydropower and geothermal power research business – if Congress will let it.

2. Declaring them “mature technologies” that need no further funding, the Bush administration in its FY 2007 budget request eliminates hydropower and geothermal research, venerable programs with roots in the energy crises of the 1970s.

3. “Zeroing out” such research could end up being a penny-wise, pound-foolish move, some energy advocates say

4. The idea that geothermal is a mature technology that doesn’t need further research isn’t correct according to many industry professionals. Today more than 60 geothermal plants with the capacity of about three big coal-fired power plants produce less than 1 percent of the nation’s electricity (in the USA)

5. Together, high-tech hydropower and geothermal resources could contribute at least enough power to replace more than 100 medium-size coal-fired power plants with emissions-free electricity – about the number now on the drawing board.

6. Some energy industry experts also feel that research should be done on the next generation of hydropower – ocean, tidal, wave and conduit energy coming on. Power from tidal flows, waves, and irrigation canals are expanding the definition of hydropower – none of which are likely to get DOE research funding…

Personalities mentioned: Craig Stevens, chief spokesman for the DOE; V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, an environmental group based in Sacramento, Calif.; Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association, a Washington trade group.; Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association, a Washington trade group; Robbin Marks, director of the hydropower reform campaign at American Rivers, a Washington environmental group; Jerry Taylor, the Cato Institute’s director of Natural Resource Studies; Trey Taylor, cofounder and president of Verdant Power in Arlington, Va.

Organizations mentioned: Department of Energy, Govt of USA; National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Original news article link here

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