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

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Organizational Unit

University College, Environmental Policy and Management


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

First Advisor

James Spensley


Colorado, Geothermal energy


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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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