- Rulemaking - Geothermal Grant and Loan Program (GRDA)
- Geothermal Grant and Loan Program (GRDA)
- Geothermal Grant and Loan Program (GRDA) Law and Regulations
- Background About Geothermal Energy in California
- Fact Sheets on Projects Funded
- List of Resource Assessment Projects (1981-1999)
- Map of California Geothermal Resource Areas
- Commission PIER Program - Renewable Program Area
- Commission Renewable Energy Program
- California Department of Conservation
Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal (Drilling Permits, etc.)
- Consumer Energy Center (Information about Ground-Source Heat Pumps)
- The Energy Story - "Chapter on Geothermal Energy" for Students
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Geothermal Energy in California
Because of its location on the Pacific's "ring of fire" and because of tectonic plate conjunctions, California contains the largest amount of geothermal generating capacity in the United States.
In 2007, geothermal energy in our state produced 13,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity. Combined with another 440 GWh of imported geothermal electricity, then geothermal energy produced 4.5 percent of the state's total system power. A total of 43 operating geothermal power plants with an installed capacity of nearly 1,800 megawatts are in California, about two-thirds of the total United States' geothermal generation.
The largest concentration of geothermal plants is located north of San Francisco in the Geysers Geothermal Resource Area in Lake and Sonoma Counties. This location has been producing electricity since the 1960s. It uses dry steam; one of only two places in the world for this resource (the other being in Larderello, Italy).
For more about geothermal in California, please see the Background Page.
Energy Commission's Geothermal Program
The California Energy Commission's Geothermal Program was created by Assembly Bill 1905 (Bosco) and has been in operation since 1981. During the first decade, it promoted California geothermal energy development by extending financial and technical assistance to public entities to support direct uses, planning, and mitigation projects. In 1992, the program was expanded to include financial assistance to private entities for research, development and commercialization projects. The funding source is revenue paid to the United States government by geothermal developers from production on federal leases in California. Typically, there are funds available each fiscal year in the Program's Geothermal Resources Development Account for awards to qualifying applicants, and are provided as grants or loans.
The mission of the Program is to promote the research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of California's enormous earth heat energy sources. A major program goal is to continue to develop a portfolio of near to long-term R&D projects in California.
The Program has cost-shared in research, development and demonstration (RD&D) partnerships with over 160 public and private entities. It supports the development of new geothermal resources and technologies for low temperature uses and electricity generation while protecting the environment and promoting energy independence.
Fact sheets (in Acrobat PDF) are available for some of the projects.
Geothermal Funding Opportunities
The Geothermal Program promotes funding for the following:
- RD&D projects that reduce the life-cycle cost of geothermal electricity generation.
- RD&D projects that reduce the uncertainty and cost of enhancing geothermal reservoir systems.
- Projects that mitigate the adverse impacts of geothermal development.
- Projects that provide significant environmental enhancement.
Funding notices are available on our main Funding and Opportunities page. Signing up on the list server in the right column will alert you to new solicitations.
Geothermal Program Contacts
If you would like additional information about the California Energy Commission Geothermal Program, please contact:
Rizaldo Aldas, Renewables Team Lead
Energy Research and Development Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-43
Sacramento, CA 95814
Members of the news media, please contact the
Media and Public Communications Office at 916-654-4989.
Geothermal Energy in General, Contact:
International Geothermal Association
The IGA Secretariat
c/o Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Bochum)
Fax: +49 (0)234-3214809
University of California, Davis
California Geothermal Energy Collaborative
One Shields Ave.
2028 Academic Surge Building
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-0152
Fax: (530) 752-6572