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IEA urges more use of geothermal energy

  |   June 14, 2011 at 7:55 AM
VIENNA, June 14 (UPI) -- Tapping into geothermal energy could allay some climate concerns though not without better regulatory mechanisms, the IEA said from Vienna.

The International Energy Agency said in a report that policy actions and better incentives could help increase the amount of geothermal energy in the global energy mix from around 0.25 percent currently to more than 3 percent by 2050.

"This would be an important contribution to global efforts of reducing carbon emissions, using a sustainable and reliable source of energy that is available all over the world, and does not fluctuate with the weather or season," said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka in a statement.

The IEA recommends that governments introduce incentives that would encourage the commercial development of geothermal technologies and payments to third parties that introduce alternative energy to the current grid. Permits should be made easier as well, the IEA stressed.

"The lack of regulation for geothermal energy is inhibiting the effective exploitation of the resource," Milou Beerepoot, a senior analyst at the IEA and author of the report, said in a statement.

The IEA is calling for more use of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal to curb carbon dioxide emissions seen as a factor in global temperature variations. At least 80 percent of the projected emissions from the energy sector in 2020 are on the books because of current or future construction plans.

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