Lawmakers To Consider The Use Of Geothermal Energy Sources
Supporters say New Mexico is losing out on a clean, zero emissions form of energy that sits in the ground in abundance.
A state committee has spent over a year looking into the feasibility of using geothermal energy as an electric and heat source.
Geothermal uses the Earth’s own heat to produce electricity. The Rio Grande Rift could be an ideal location to produce energy since the crust is thinner and easier to get to.
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino is a member of the Geothermal Working Group that has been meeting monthly since February of 2022.
He says geothermal energy has benefits that even outweigh solar and wind energy production.
“It’s available 24/7, unlike the sun. It’s available 365, unlike the wind,” he said. “It could fill the difference in our trying to become fully free of fossil fuels between what we have in sun and wind power without having to rely on very expensive and potentially difficult to obtain battery power.”
Ortiz y Pino says they are hoping to get passed during next year’s legislative session a Geothermal Energy Bill to support the two-phase development of geothermal energy in New Mexico.
Phase one would expand known existing geothermal resources: in green houses, heat pumps for buildings, hot springs & spas, for clean electricity.
Phase two would promote longer term development of advanced geothermal electricity to provide the final 10% of clean NM grid electricity through the 2030’s.
The Water and Natural Resources Committee voted last week to support the legislation.