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  • Writer's picturedawnjohnston1

Geothermal is Available 24/7

Contrasted with intermittent renewables like solar and wind, geothermal is firm, or ‘baseload’, meaning it is always on, and does not require energy storage to operate. In this way, geothermal plays the same role on the grid as coal, nuclear, and natural gas.

Capacity factor comparison for renewable energy technologies. Capacity factor is the percentage of time that a plant is generating electricity. Source: Adapted from EIA, 2014.

Geothermal has the Smallest Footprint Compared to Other Energy Sources

Geothermal has the lowest lifecycle carbon emissions, smallest land footprint, and lowest water contamination concerns of all energy technologies including solar, nuclear, wind, fossil fuels, and battery storage. Geothermal operations are also weather and attack resilient, since much of the footprint of geothermal operations are located underground.

Comparing Surface Footprint for Geothermal
The project surface footprint, acre for acre for one gigawatt of generating capacity, is smallest with geothermal compared to other renewables and coal. Source: Adapted from Lovering et al., 2022 and NREL, 2020.

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