geothermal energy

URBANA, Ill. – Unlike the sun and the wind, geothermal energy resources are located underground and not commonly visible or exposed to disaster. This resiliency makes them a valuable untapped resource. University of Illinois Extension, in collaboration with the Illinois Geothermal Coalition, is providing a webinar series this winter with expert testimony on the value, sustainability, and policies surrounding geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy systems could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and lower energy bills by up to 70% and are 400% more efficient than conventional heating and cooling systems, says Nancy Ouedraogo, Illinois Extension community and economic development specialist. The Illinois Geothermal Coalition works to help Illinois move towards achieving its commitment of converting all energy systems to running on 100% renewable energy by 2050.

The federal energy and water policies are set by statutes and executive orders. Federal agencies may set their own policies above those required by federal policies. On Nov. 9, Extension will highlight specific federal energy and water sustainability requirements and available resources regarding the performance metrics and individual federal agencies’ progress towards meeting these metrics. The webinar, Geothermal Energy: Federal Models in Resiliency and Sustainability, begins at 2 p.m. and registration is required at: go.illinois.edu/Geothermal110921.

The U.S. Army initiative to improve energy and water resilience at its installations exceeds federal energy and water sustainability requirements. The Department of Defense recognizes that disruptions in energy and water can affect critical missions, and the Army’s initiative towards improving energy and water resilience is one of the first to quantify the energy and water requirements for resilience for critical facilities supporting critical missions, says Ouedraogo.

Illinois Extension has partnered with the Illinois Geothermal Coalition (which is comprised of the Illinois State Geological Survey, U of I Civil and Environmental Engineering, U of I Institute of Sustainability, Energy, and Environment and others), to develop programs that supports wider adoption of geothermal energy systems and disseminates information to decision makers and public stakeholders about the potential economic, energy efficiency, and environmental benefits to the residents of Illinois.

This information may assist decision makers and public stakeholders in identifying how geothermal energy can be implemented successfully in long-term solutions and provide a venue to discuss potential benefits to the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

If you will need an accommodation in order to participate, email Ouedraogo. Early requests are encouraged. 

About the Presenters

Franklin Holcomb is a senior researcher in the energy branch at the USARMY Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center - Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign. As part of the senior technical staff, Holcomb identifies and cultivates new areas of energy and sustainability research to support Army and DoD requirements. With over 30 years experience in leading energy and sustainability technology projects and programs, Holcomb gained worldwide recognition as a technical expert on fuel cells and U.S. Army power and energy issues. As chief of the energy branch at ERDC-CERL, he led a world-class team of scientists and engineers conducting research and development to support facility design, installation energy operations, and contingency basing energy challenges.

Damarys Acevedo-Acevedo is a research environmental engineer and interim program manager for the Installation Energy and Water Plan Program in the Environmental Engineering Branch at the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center – Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL) in Vicksburg, Miss.

SOURCE: Nancy Ouedraogo, Community and Economic Development Specialist, Illinois Extension

WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Interim Director of Communications, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.