The Geothermal Bonus: Sustainable Energy as a By-Product of Drilling for Oil
13 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2011 Last revised: 25 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2009
Generating geothermal energy from co-produced fluids as a by-product of oil production is an ideal addition to North Dakota’s (and the nation’s) renewable energy industry. These geothermal projects are pragmatic and practical, and they support the state’s and the nation’s current pursuit of its most lucrative energy industry, oil, while promoting clean energy technologies. These projects are a win-win proposition because they have the potential to make our current energy mix a little cleaner and a little safer, while providing a process that could make our future energy mix much cleaner and much safer. Although this technology holds tremendous promise, this essay considers several existing hurdles and impediments to reaching that promise. Policymakers at every level - local, state, and federal - need to support near-term efforts like EGS that can have a role in long-term solutions and avoid stop-gap measures that provide nice sound bites, but have limited long-term value.
Keywords: Energy, geothermal, electricity, oil, gas, regulation, EGS, co-produced fluids
JEL Classification: Q4, Q41, Q42, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation