When people talk about the oil industry in the United States, conversations tend to spiral downhill as we hope for a greener future, but expect no immediate changes. As college students, we especially feel the stretch in our pockets when we pay about $3.50 a gallon at the pump or sigh at our heating and electric bills, knowing it’s all going to the wealthy few up top. But I see America changing its course, and when it does, people will jump on it.
Iceland tends to be seen as a sort of utopia in all its glorious production and consumption of renewable energy compared to other countries, including the U.S. The current difference between Iceland and us in our use of geothermal energy, for example, for producing electricity and space heating is astounding, as The National Energy Authority of Iceland’s website boasts 66 percent of its energy from geothermal while the Institute for Energy Research’s admits just two tenths of 1 percent in the U.S.
However, the year 2020 seems to be a recurring theme when looking into the United States’ rising interest in this immensely under-used energy resource. Between sites for Renewable Energy World, CNET, and The Green Optimistic, some are more hopeful than others – whether usage is predicted to double or triple in size – but at the bottom line, significant increase appears to be only five years away.
Tripling our current production is still less than 1 percent, but once geothermal becomes a more available option in the next couple years, more than 1 percent of Americans will be ready to try something new – something earth friendly – to heat their homes and produce their electricity; and this step towards a cleaner and renewable way of living could very be the push towards finding other ways to lower consumption of fossil fuels and pave the way to better living here in the United States.