Full Title: Topics and Considerations for Developing State Geothermal Regulations
Author(s): Aaron Levine, Faith Martinez Smith, and Heather Buchanan
Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September 16, 2023
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In 2019, the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the GeoVision report and associated Non-Technical Barriers Task Force report. The Non-Technical Barriers Task Force report identified states in the eastern and southern United States that do not have geothermal regulations for power production or direct-use applications. In addition, other discussions have indicated interest from other states in updating existing geothermal regulations that have been in place for decades. Based on these findings, the intent of this document is to provide information that states might find valuable when developing geothermal regulations that would be inclusive of all geothermal technologies (e.g., conventional and nonconventional power production and directuse applications) with applicability in all states. Furthermore, this report does not focus on ground source heat pumps (GSHPs, also known as geothermal heat pumps) or use of the subsurface as a thermal sink.
As part of this project, the NREL project team reviewed and catalogued existing state geothermal regulations, compiled best practices from geothermal and other extractive industries, and established a Geothermal Regulatory Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) comprised of volunteers to advise and review the draft geothermal regulatory synthesis.