France is making a big push for geothermal development, as the country focuses on becoming a leader in reducing carbon emissions ahead of the next UN summit on climate change in 2015, says the New York Times. The country has already banned hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas and its President pledged to reduce nuclear power from 75% of electricity produced to 50% by 2025.
And a new bill aimed at sparking new private investment in renewable energy is expected to be submitted to France’s National Assembly next month.
In fact, 170,000 homes in Paris already are getting their heat from geothermal wells, being home to the world’s second-largest concentration of geothermal wells after Iceland, says the Times.
Additionally, a new 13-kilometer geothermal network is scheduled to provide heat and hot water to 10,000 additional homes in the greater Paris area by next year, with the help of government incentives. And government support has sparked French utility GDF Suez plans to launch one to two new geothermal projects a year in France over the next five years.
Geothermal is regaining attention in the U.S. as well, and in August, the U.S. DOE gave $18 million to 32 new geothermal energy projects. This brings the agency’s total geothermal portfolio to 150 projects
And Forbes published a story last month highlighting a study by MIT that outlines the benefits of geothermal energy versus other renewable energies, including its cost effectiveness, ability to provide power around the clock, and relatively limited use of land space.
To read the full article in the New York Times, click here.