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Trade group Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) says that California's geothermal resources are largely untapped.

The GEA notes that it has issued a status report on the state's geothermal potential as the California Air Resources Board is examining a new scoping plan for implementing the state's climate law.

According to the GEA, geothermal power generated 4.4% of total system power in California in 2012 but could have generated substantially more, as about half of the state's identified geothermal resources are still untapped. The trade association notes that the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area is considered by many to be the best opportunity for growth in California in the near term.

In addition, the GEA reports that depending on the resource characteristics and plant design, geothermal power plants can be engineered to provide firm and/or flexible power.

Challenges to the growth of utility-scale plants include weak demand, inadequate transmission, permitting delays and a lack of coordinated policies, the GEA adds.

The full report is available here.


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