This Week in Energy: Geothermal’s Potential
This Week in Energy is a weekly round-up of news making headlines in the world of energy. Most of these stories are posted throughout the week to our Energy Ticker page.
The purpose is to stimulate discussion on energy issues. Community members should feel free to turn these into open thread energy discussions. Suggestions and news tips are welcome. I (Sam) can be reached at editor [at] consumerenergyreport [dot] com.
Geothermal, Tesla & Fisker, BP, Food vs. Fuel
- New research funded by Google.org, found that there is three million megawatts of potential geothermal energy — accessible using current technology — below the surface of the United States. That’s ten times the installed capacity of coal power plants in the United States today. The maps are viewable in Google Earth and can be downloaded here. Current global installed geothermal capacity is 11 GW, with the U.S. leading all countries in installed capacity.
- A $529 million federal loan guarantee to an electric car company manufacturing automobiles in Finland is drawing more unwanted attention to Energy Department loans. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney criticized President Obama over government loans of $529 million loan to Fisker Automotive, as well as a $465 million to Tesla Motors. In the case of Fisker, Romney’s criticism focused on the fact that the cars will be manufactured in Finland, and in the case of Tesla Romney was critical of the close relationship between Tesla and the Democratic Party. Romney called for a probe of the Fisker and Tesla deals, which were defended by the DOE.
- UPI reported that the bad economy is good for climate, as the IEA reported that carbon dioxide emissions declined in 2009 for the first time since 1990. However, the report cautions that emissions are expected to show an increase in 2010, and some reports already confirm this. U.S. emissions followed a similar pattern, showing large declines in 2008 and 2009 before climbing in 2010.
- There was a report this week that BP is facing a rough economic future as it grapples with the financial costs of last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This idea was previously explored shortly after the spill here at R-Squared Energy in The Demise of BP?
- Experts say “How does ethanol affect our food supply?” is a difficult question with many answers.