On September 23 the U.S. Department of Energy finalized a loan guarantee of up to $350 million for a geothermal power generation project in Nevada that will produce 113 megawatts of clean base load electricity from three geothermal facilities. Energy Secretary Steven Chu pointed to the project, sponsored by Ormat Nevada, Inc., as a signal that the United States will remain the global leader in geothermal energy development. According to a recent report from Pike Research, total U.S. geothermal capacity will reach 4.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2020, a 36% increase from the 2010 level and significantly more than any other country. That represents almost 30% of total worldwide geothermal power capacity in 2020.
Asia Pacific will achieve the highest capacity among world regions, with 5.9 GW of geothermal power 41% of worldwide capacity of 14.3 GW. Under a more aggressive growth forecast scenario, the cleantech market intelligence firm says, total worldwide capacity could reach 25.1 GW by 2020.“Geothermal remains an underutilized resource, representing only a small fraction of the global renewable energy portfolio today,” says senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “Currently the vast majority of capacity is concentrated in just seven countries, but additional support from global financial markets and enhanced regional cooperation by institutions such as the World Bank and ARGeo, in Africa, will drive the development of new capacity in promising markets such as Kenya, Indonesia, and Turkey.”
The world’s total installed geothermal capacity in 2010 was 10.7 GW. Pike Research estimates that, at a minimum, 190 GW of conventional geothermal resources the equivalent of 225 to 250 nuclear power plants are exploitable using current technology. While conventional geothermal resources account for nearly all online capacity today, enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) and co-produced wells both offer opportunities for expansion outside of rift zones or volcanically active regions throughout the world.Pike Research’s report, “Geothermal Power”, analyzes the global market opportunity for electricity production from conventional, EGS, and co-produced geothermal resources. The study includes a comprehensive examination of market drivers, existing and emerging technologies, the public policy and regulatory environment, and key industry players. Global market forecasts, segmented by geography, extend through 2020 and include profiles of key countries actively developing geothermal power projects. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors