It is estimated that thousands of megawatts of electricity could be generated from the geothermal fluids which underlie agricultural fields in Imperial County, California. Many potential environmental problems appear generally controllable. The possible inter-relationships between geothermal development and subsidence, seismicity, and water availability are, however, difficult to predict, and evaluation must await long-termed, commercial-sized operations. County population will interact with energy development through employment, geographical distribution, and interaction with the larger Mexican labor pool. Exportation of the bulk of the generated electricity, however, will limit the local socio-economic impact. County residents favor geothermal development at a ratio of almost 9:1. Thirteen policy recommendations applicable to other KGRA'S in the western U.S. include: the desirability of positive public opinion, the encouragement of on-line electrical power at an early stage in the development process, the importance of determining economic-technological exploitation feasibility, and the influences of local, state, and federal regulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Building and Construction
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering