Region: North America
Content Types: Report
Date: Apr, 2024

Colorado geothermal 1The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) has opened its first competitive application for the state’s Geothermal Electricity Tax Credit Offering (GETCO), a programme to encourage elevated levels of geothermal production and investment.

Following the Governor’s ‘Heat Beneath Our Feet Initiative’ to explore more deployment opportunities for geothermal technology within the state, the new tax programme allows for eligible utilities, private businesses, local governments and public-private partnerships to apply for two different types of incentives. The two incentives include an investment tax credit (ITC) for exploring and developing geothermal resources, and a production tax credit (PTC) for producing geothermal electricity.

The ITC can cover up to 30-50% of eligible costs for selected projects not exceeding US$5mn. A total is US$35mn is available in ITCs through to 2032, while the PTCs provide a US$0.003 credit for every kwh of geothermal electricity produced, up to US$1mn per entity per year through to 2032. The first application cycle is open until 30 June, 2024. 

Colorado Energy Office’s Executive Director, Will Toor, stated, “This incentive encourages geothermal electricity development across Colorado, advancing innovative technologies that will create jobs in just transition communities and help achieve a 100% clean energy economy here and around the world.”

Geothermal success

Colorado utilities are currently on track to reduce emissions from the power sector by more than 80% by 2030 though a mix of clean energy sources. A recent study commissioned by CEO found that the lower cost pathway to achieve 100% clean electricity in Colorado by 2040 will be to rely on geothermal energy, alongside wind, solar, storage and clean hydrogen.

“While wind and solar energy can meet the majority of our electricity needs, geothermal energy is essential for delivering reliable and affordable clean electricity, regardless of the weather,” Toor continued.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said, “Geothermal energy means lower costs on Coloradans’ energy bills and cleaner air. By breaking down barriers to this clean renewable energy resource, Colorado can move closer to our goal of 100% renewable energy while saving people money on energy, improving reliability, and protecting our air quality.”