Geothermal energy “appeared to be on a launch trajectory” in 2009, says the Geothermal Energy Association in its year-end report. With more than 3,150 MW of geothermal capacity on line in the U.S. in August and 144 new geothermal plants under development, the Washington, D.C.-based industry association says the accelerating growth could add 7,000 MW of new plants. The U.S. already leads the world in geothermal installed capacity and could have 10,000 MW in a few years, officials say. GEA credits state and federal policies—including state renewables portfolio standards, the Dept. of Energy’s extension of a loan program for innovative geothermal technology and a new DOE loan-guarantee program for ready renewable projects—for the growth.