GEOTHERMAL ENERGY POTENTIAL: COMPARE AND CONTRAST CANADA, ICELAND, AND USA. FROM POLICY TO GEOLOGY
Iceland overlies a spreading ridge and possible hot spot,forming a hot (>300oC) reservoir. California overlies a subduction plate boundary, which results in an active chain of volcanos parallel and inland to the coast, known as the Cascade Volcanic Arc.
The first step in geothermal energy production is the development of policies which support research and development. In the US this has been an ongoing process for decades. In the 1970s the US enacts the Geothermal Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) Act, instituting the Geothermal Loan Guaranty Program, which provides investment security to public and private sectors using developing technologies to exploit geothermal resources. The Geo-Heat Center located at the Oregon Institute of Technology. This centre disseminates information to potential users and conducts applied research on using low- to moderate- temperature geothermal resources. The U.S. Geological Survey released the first national geothermal resource estimate and inventory.
The Government of Canada announced the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) in January 2009 as part of its actions to ensure a healthy environment, by supporting clean energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects, including carbon capture and storage. The fund initially started at almost 1 billion dollars before being decreased down to 800 million.
Samples from Iceland and Canada were collected and continued work in petrographic analysis and geochemistry is underway in an effort to continue the comparisons on a more in depth geologic and geochemistry level.