Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently signed a new law called SB23-285, also known as the Energy and Carbon Management Regulation. This law will allow expansion of geothermal power production; therefore, play an integral role in helping Colorado achieve its goal to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.
Originally named the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the bill will be known as the Energy and Carbon Management Commission starting July 2023. The purpose is to give the law more regulatory authority, allowing it to oversee a wider range of energy and carbon management areas beyond oil and gas.
Section 8 of the bill grants the commission the exclusive authority to regulate deep geothermal operations and explore allocated geothermal resources, including ones deeper than 762 metres. Additionally, it grants the state engineer exclusive authority to manage shallow geothermal operations. The bill also allows the commission to conduct studies, prepare reports summarizing the findings of the studies, and submit the reports to the general assembly.
Polis expressed in an interview with Stateline how thrilled he is that drilling for geothermal energy will soon be more time and cost efficient. Plus, other governors in western states are watching these new developments with “great interest,” according to Polis.
Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office Will Toor said: “To go all the way to 100 percent clean at the same time that we’re electrifying transportation, buildings, and industry— if you wanted to do it purely through wind and solar— you’d have to overbuild the system pretty significantly. You need something to complement that, to close that last gap, and geothermal is one of the very promising technologies there.”
Geothermal energy “closes the gap” in the electrical grid because intermittent sources are vulnerable to seasons and weather. In this context, Eavor-Loop™ technology stands out as a valuable asset because it provides baseload energy that is readily dispatchable whenever it’s needed.
The way Eavor achieves this is through a closed-loop system that extracts energy from deep hot rock rather than traditional geothermal sources, such as aquifers or hot springs. This means that as the United States and other countries aim to decarbonize their economies, geothermal energy is quickly solidifying its potential to be an essential part of a clean power ecosystem.