An outline of geothermal energy market regional landscape: Focusing on the prominent countries demonstrating a lucrative revenue-generating potential

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With the extensive global attempts to eliminate hazardous fuel emissions, geothermal energy market is on its way to establish itself as one of the most dynamically evolving energy markets of recent times. Geothermal energy, virtually considered the underdog among renewable energies, had been slightly lagging in development compared to the other forms of renewable energy, for a long time. With its commendable proliferation pertaining to the global requirement for electric supply and the subsequent upsurge in the demand for geothermal-based power, geothermal energy industry size, as per Global Market Insights, Inc., has been estimated to cross USD 57 billion by 2024. The World Energy Council forecasts that geothermal energy can cater to more than 8% of the world’s power supply, a factor that is likely to propel the revenue-generating potential of Geothermal Energy Market over the years to come.

   Europe Geothermal Energy Market, By Technology, 2016 (MW)

Geothermal energy basically entails harnessing heat from the earth’s crust – from shallow backyards to deep wells. Having gradually established its place in the global energy landscape, geothermal energy industry size, say experts, will escalate remarkably over the span of the next few years. Scientists affirm that harnessing geothermal energy for power production could contribute heavily toward safeguarding the environment from carbon emissions. Statistics depicting the vast penetration of geothermal energy market are enumerated as follows:

  • In 2012, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) declared that the geothermal facilities in 13 states have a capacity of 38,000 MW, which can generate 308 million MWh of power per year.
  • The year 2013 recorded a utility-scale geothermal capacity of more than 11,700 MW on a global level, which produced around 68 billion KWh, sufficient enough to fulfill the power requirement of more than 6 million U.S. homes.

Here’s a breakdown of the installed geothermal capacity across prominent regions in 2015. The capacity has a crucial role to play in the development of geothermal energy industry.

Region Installed capacity
Europe 2.13 GW
Latin America 1.64 GW
North America 3.45 GW
Asia Pacific 4.81 GW
Africa 0.6 GW


Geothermal energy industry trends across United States & Mexico

Region Installed capacity
U.S. 3450 MW
Mexico 1017 MW

Statistics claim more than eight U.S. states to have accounted for a capacity of more 3,300 MW in 2015, which makes the U.S. a global leader in geothermal energy market. More than 80% of this capacity is seemingly installed in California, which boasts of a collection of 40 geothermal plants providing around 7% of the region’s electricity. Though the latest trends depict a slight flak in the growth of geothermal energy industry, it has been estimated by experts that U.S. geothermal capacity may cross 5,600 MW by 2020.

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The region will depict a meteoric rise in the growth of geothermal energy market, given the numerous projects in the pipeline, a strict regulatory landscape, and the easy availability of low temperature resources. Some of the promising indicators of the regional geothermal energy industry growth are as follows:

  • As per a 2016 report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, geothermal installed capacity on the Salton Sea may cross 1.8 GW by 2030 – a factor that will heavily influence the regional geothermal energy market.
  • The DOE’s Berkeley National Laboratory is expected to lead a new geothermal project worth USD 9 million, to eliminate any possible issues related to the commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), with a clean energy technology that may help to provide electricity to 100 million American homes. This initiative will suitably impel geothermal energy industry size, state scientists.

Mexico ranked in 2016, as far as geothermal installed capacity is concerned. The region boasted of a capacity of 1,017 MW, thereby making it a potential investment ground for energy companies. A stringent regulatory structure supports the growth of the regional geothermal energy market. Experts affirm that the installed geothermal capacity in Mexico may hit 1,400 MW by 2020.

Geothermal energy industry trends across Indonesia

This country has surprisingly emerged as one of foremost leaders in installed geothermal capacity, and will be a profound contributor toward South-east Asia geothermal energy market share. The country recorded a capacity of 1340 MW in 2015, and has been predicted to surpass remarkable heights over the course of the nest few years. Numerous geothermal projects are already underway in the nation, as reported by sources, which will undeniably help the regional geothermal energy industry to carve out a successful growth path. A couple of projects that may contribute toward the regional geothermal energy market expansion are enumerated below:

  • Recently, Toshiba and Ormat announced the successful commencement of the Sarulla geothermal power plant, located in North Sumatra, Indonesia, which is estimated to be one of the world’s largest power plants.
  • Reports state that this 110 MW plant, equipped with flash and binary technologies, has been designed to provide 100% reinjection of the geothermal fluid. This plant is evidence enough to declare that technological innovations play a significant role in the development of geothermal energy industry.
  • Ansaldo Energia has recently received the green signal to proceed with two of its geothermal projects, which are combinedly worth EUR 80 million, in eastern and western Java. The two contracts are expected to simultaneously increase the total geothermal output in the region to 270 MW, thereby providing a positive impetus to South-east Asia geothermal energy market.

Geothermal energy industry trends across the European belt

Europe is the pioneer of renewable energy market, and by extension, geothermal energy industry, subject to a plethora of drivers, including energy reforms, suitable locations, government initiatives, and a rising need to promote green energy. A breakdown of the installed geothermal capacity in European continents in 2015 is provided in this table:

Region Installed capacity
Germany 27 MW
Austria 1 MW
France 16 MW
Italy 916 MW
Turkey 397 MW
Portugal 29 MW

 

The region boasts of a slew of geothermal projects across Germany, Italy, and France, with the appreciable contribution of Portugal and Turkey. The points below focus on a couple of projects that are likely to impel the growth path of the regional geothermal energy market over 2017-2024:

  • Renowned Turkish facility MB Holding plans to construct Croatia’s first geothermal power plant with a capacity of 16.5 MW, based on a multi-stage ORC turbine by Turboden.
  • Reputed Italian firm Exergy aims to construct a 24 MW geothermal power plant in Turkey, simultaneously propelling geothermal energy industry across both the countries.
  • In 2016, the geothermal energy production in Tuscany, Italy, increased to 5,871 GWh of geothermal-based power in the region, from 34 operational geothermal power plants. This record has opened up new opportunities for business players operating in geothermal energy market, as these plants exhibit a high level of technological operations and efficiency.

While the aforementioned regions are already at the helm of geothermal energy industry, there are many other untapped regions, such as Brazil, Chile, China, and India, which are likely to emerge as lucrative avenues for the growth of geothermal energy market. In fact, recent reports suggest that in a bid to expand its renewable energy capacity, India aims to harness 10 GW of geothermal energy by 2030 via strategic collaborations with New Zealand, U.S., and Mexico. The country has also declared that it intends to achieve 175 GW of renewable electricity by 2022, which will substantially impact the regional geothermal energy industry. Many other regions have been reported to still be in the nascent stage of geothermal energy market development, however, experts say that the increasing environmental issues cause due to fuel-based power will lead countries to look out for green avenues, and will be a major factor propelling the growth of geothermal energy market.

Author Name : Saipriya Iyer

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