Jun 10, 2021

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $14.5 Million to Accelerate Deployment of Geothermal Electricity

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $14.5 million to support active field testing of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) technologies and techniques within existing wells.  EGS, like all geothermal resources, supplies secure, resilient renewable electricity and heating and cooling that is always-available regardless of weather, and with a small environmental footprint.

The Wells of Opportunity 2021 FOA, solicits the partnership of well owners or operators to help cost-effectively bring more geothermal power online using their existing wells.

There is vast potential for geothermal energy in the United States, but only 3.7 gigawatts electric (GWe) of energy are currently installed. The DOE Geothermal Technologies Office's (GTO) 2019 GeoVision study concludes that with technology improvements, especially in areas relevant to enhanced geothermal systems, geothermal power generation could increase 26-fold from today, representing 60 GWe by 2050.

"This new funding will help us tap into its enormous potential to power millions of homes and businesses and put thousands to work in good-paying clean energy jobs," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. "Making use of the stranded heat beneath our feet and putting idle or underproductive wells to use for power generation will help us transition this important renewable resource closer to widespread deployment."

Read more at:
https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/us-department-energy-announces-145-million-accelerate-deployment-geothermal

Jun 7, 2021

Asthma-Safer Cleaning and Disinfecting Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their guidance for when to clean and when to disinfect in non-healthcare facilities. The new guidance emphasizes that when no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in an indoor setting within the last 24 hours, cleaning once a day is enough to keep a facility healthy.

When following this or any cleaning and disinfecting guidance it is important to know that disinfectants and cleaners often contain chemicals that can cause or trigger asthma. 
Worker cleaning a door handle


During May's Asthma Awareness Month, we're highlighting the importance of choosing safer products and cleaning and disinfecting safely. Here are some tips:
  • As indicated in the guidance, disinfect only when necessary. Routine cleaning performed effectively with soap or detergent can substantially reduce virus and bacteria levels on indoor surfaces.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created a list of disinfectants that work to kill coronavirus. Choose hydrogen peroxide (without peracetic acid), lactic acid, citric acid, silver, or alcohol-based products whenever possible. These are not known to cause asthma.
  • Use as much ventilation as possible. Open windows if needed.
  • Dilute products properly. Do not make them more concentrated than the labels say.
  • Follow recommendations on the label or the safety data sheet. This may include wearing gloves or goggles.
  • Choose fragrance-free cleaning products.

Resources

Work-Related Asthma, Cleaning Products, and Disinfectants – OHB web page

Reminders for Using Disinfectants at Schools and Child Cares (PDF) | Spanish – California Department of Pesticide regulation InfoSheet

Fragrances and Work-Related Asthma – OHB web page

Cleaning for Asthma-Safe Schools (CLASS) – OHB web page

Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) – OHB website