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A Viable Direction?

The Elgin (IL) public library district hopes to break ground on a new facility this spring. It is to include a geothermal heating and cooling system expected to provide annual energy savings of $3,660.

Decades after geothermal technology has been established as a proven energy saver, less than 1% of US homes have such systems. Up to this point, installation of a geothermal system could cost twice as much as a new conventional gas or electric system.

Is there a future for geothermal? Its production and usage seem to involve no environmental degradation, something its competitors certainly can't claim. And what about geothermal electricity production?

Geothermal stocks are a mixed bag of Johnny-come-lately penny stocks and stocks with a respectable capitalization and track record. Among those showing stock-price growth over five years: Constellation Energry Group [CEG] (+223.8%); IdaCorp [IDA] (+48.52%); PG & E [PCG] (+185.23%); Raser Technologies [RZ] (+357.84%).

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