Asked why Nevada’s geothermal industry has held up so strongly, Gawell listed three reasons. “Strong state policies,” he said, specifying a Renewable Energy Standard dictating that 25% of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2025, among the nation’s most ambitious. “Tax incentives from Congress, particularly the tax incentives passed as part of the stimulus package,” citing the Treasury’s cash grant-in-lieu of tax credits program that has sustained all the renewable industries through the recession. Lastly, Gawell singled out the federal government’s support of research at the University of Nevada, Reno, “to help them do the scientific and technical work to identify and find geothermal reservoirs.”
Unlike other forms or renewable energy, geothermal is operational 24/7.