Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Geothermal Energy Market Review and Forecasts for 2012

Although wind and solar energy steal most of the headlines, geothermal energy is enjoying significant growth. The past five years have seen accelerated geothermal development in countries like New Zealand, Indonesia and the US. But geothermal is also growing in new markets including countries like Australia and Germany. Geothermal is projected to grow at an annual rate of 7 percent.

We have seen growth in conventional hydrothermal resources in volcanic regions, but we have also seen growth in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) projects in non-volcanic regions. Technological innovations have facilitated the expansion of geothermal into areas with lower temperature, restricted water access, and constrained surface utilisation. The US currently has six active EGS developments.

According to Roland Horne, President, International Geothermal Association, "Future expansion depends on exploring for new fields and overcoming technical challenges in known but not-yet-exploited fields. Two issues that are currently being addressed by the world geothermal community are:

(1) The ‘productivity gap’ in the exploitation of fields that are too hot for downhole pumps, but too cool for flash production

(2) The development of reliable EGS development procedures that can ensure sustainable flow rates and assure the public that induced seismicity will not be a problem

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

business market research said...

Geothermal energy is a type of thermal energy generated and stored at accessible depths in the Earth's crust. It can either be used in power plants to produce electricity or used directly in a number of applications. In the first instance, the steam or vapour from reservoirs of hot water found a few miles or more below the Earth's surface are used to drive a turbine to produce electricity. In the second case, direct use geothermal systems use resources at lower temperatures than are required for most geothermal power plants.