Title

Geothermal Electricity Generation in Colorado: Actual and Perceived Obstacles to Greater Implementation

Date of Award

5-27-2010

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Advisor

James Spensley

Keywords

Colorado; geothermal energy

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to provide an analysis of the potential and obstacles to the development of geothermal energy resources in Colorado. Geothermal energy is the only renewable resource that can provide base-load electricity. While Colorado has significant geothermal energy potential, there are no such power plants. Layers of federal and state laws and regulations represent one barrier to further geothermal development. Transmission constraints represent another major barrier. High exploration and construction costs along with high-risk profiles for geothermal projects form another major barrier. Perceived barriers such as misunderstanding the impacts, risks, and benefits of geothermal energy hinder further development. Recommendations are provided to help overcome these obstacles.

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