Geothermal energy comes from heat stored in rocks and fluid in the Earth’s crust. Geothermal fluids may be steam or hot water. With more than 650 active, high-temperature (fluids over 212 degrees F) wells that tap into geothermal fields, California is the largest generator of electricity from geothermal energy in the United States. In 2018, the state received 5.92 percent of its electrical energy from geothermal resources.
The Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) supports development of this clean, renewable energy resource while prioritizing the health and safety of the public and the environment. CalGEM regulates the operation, maintenance, and permanent closure of production and
injection wells used for the discovery and extraction of geothermal resources on state and private land. Geothermal energy is part of the answer as California aims toward carbon-neutrality by 2045.
On February 8, 2022, CalGEM released an updated Discussion Draft proposing updates to the statewide regulations for geothermal wells for the purpose of receiving public input. The discussion draft proposes updates to the Statewide Geothermal Regulations aimed at reflecting developments in science and technology, expanding reporting of technical data related to well operations and injection processes, and providing clarity on regulatory requirements.
CalGEM invites public comment on the proposed regulations. Comments on the proposed regulations can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, CalGEM will be holding a public workshop on March 15 and March 17, 2022. The comment period closes on March 25, 2022.
This proposed update builds on preliminary rulemaking activity conducted in 2018, including the release of an early discussion draft in February 2018 (below). Public feedback on this early version is reflected in the February 2022 updated discussion draft.