Ormat pins hopes in US geothermal bill

A House bill authorizes $400 million for geothermal research for fiscal years 2008-2012.

Ormat Industries Ltd. (TASE: ORMT) subsidiary Ormat Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ORA) is putting hopes on new House legislation to tap geothermal energy to meet US power needs.

Ormat Technologies public policy manager Paul Thomsen told the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, "Today, nearly 3,000 megawatts of new geothermal power are under development, which will create over 10,000 new jobs and new investment of over $7 billion, but much more is possible.”

The House legislation authorizes $400 million for geothermal research for fiscal years 2008-2012. Earlier, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed eliminating geothermal programs at the Department of Energy in its 2007-08 budgets.

Thomsen added, "The OMB proposal to terminate geothermal research is not only short-sighted, it just doesn't make any sense. By passing this legislation, Congress will recognize that we have just begun to tap the enormous potential of geothermal energy in this country." He spoke on behalf of his company as well as the U.S. geothermal trade association, the Geothermal Energy Association.

Thomsen said, "Today, we are tapping only 3.5% of the estimated hydrothermal resource base. Is that acceptable when our country imports 10 million barrels of oil a day and is 60% dependent on net petroleum imports?"

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on May 17, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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