The spatial economics of geothermal district energy in a small, low-density town: A case study of Mammoth Lakes, California

Curtis R. Sommer, Michael Kuby, Gordon Bloomquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research focuses on the spatial economics of geothermal district energy (DE) systems that distribute hot fluids through a pipeline network to multiple thermal customers. We argue here that DE is held back by uncertainty about its economic feasibility when implemented in real places. DE works best with high urban densities, but in the US the best geothermal resources are in the less-populated west. Economic geography theory suggests that the optimal size of a DE firm's service area should depend on the trade-off between the economies of scale inherent in a large service area and the greater network development costs and heat loss involved in serving a large area. The HEATMAP

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalGeothermics
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

Keywords

  • California
  • District energy
  • Economic geography
  • Geothermal
  • HEATMAP
  • Network
  • Renewable energy
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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