Revolution happening in geothermal energy industry
Revolution happening in geothermal energy industry Geothermal energy supplies more than 10,000 MW to 24 countries worldwide and now produces enough electricity to meet the needs of 60 million people. It is considered possible to produce up to 8.3% of the total world electricity with geothermal resources, serving 17% of the world population. Thirty nine countries (located mostly in Africa, Central/South America, and the Pacific) can potentially obtain 100% of their electricity from geothermal resources (Dauncey, 2001). Already 24 countries are using geothermal energy source for producing electricity and another 22 countries will add to the list by 2010. In addition to large power generation, geothermal is also used for direct use purposes worldwide. In 2005, 72 countries reported using geothermal energy for direct heating, providing more than 16,000 MW of geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is used directly for a variety of purposes, including space heating, snow melting, aquaculture and more.Snapshots of status and potential of geothermal energy Renewable Capacity (GW) Market Size (billion $) Market Size Energy Growth Rate (%) Source 2008 Future Estimates 2008 Future Estimates Geothermal 14 20 7.5 13.1 8 According to market studies, investment in geothermal energy is growing at 24% a year. This exceptional investing growth rate is expected to continue - and increase even faster - for the foreseeable future. New Investments in Geothermal Energy ($ billions) 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2004-08 CAGR (%) 0.9 0.4 1.0 0.9 2.2 24Technology Advancement Estimated World Geothermal Electricity Potential with Present Technology with Technology Improvement
As seen from the chart above, with technology improvement, the total electicity generation potentialfrom geothermal increases 100%. The technology improvements are likely to come primarily frominnovative concepts such as enhanced geothermal.Until recently, geothermal power systems have only exploited resources where naturally occurringwater and rock porosity is sufficient to carry heat to the surface. However, the vast majority ofgeothermal energy within drilling reach is in dry and non-porous rock. Enhanced GeothermalSystems (EGS) are a new type of geothermal power technologies that do not require naturalconvective hydrothermal resources. EGS technologies "enhance" and/or create geothermalresources in this hot dry rock (HDR) through hydraulic stimulation.With technology advancement, it is estimated that the following countries could meet 100 percent ofelectricity demand with geothermal energy. Countries that Could Meet 100 Percent of Electricity Demand with Geothermal Energy Estimated Geothermal Capacity Required to Population Total Electricity Demand Meet Electricity Country (Thousands) (Million Kilowatt-hours) Demand (Megawatts) 1 Bolivia 9,694 5,040 639 Burundi 8,856 140 18 Comoros Islands 860 20 3 Costa Rica 4,534 8,350 1,059
Saint Vincent 121 120 15 Solomon Islands 507 60 8 Somalia 8,956 270 34 Sudan 39,445 3,940 500 Tanzania 41,464 1,880 238 Tonga 101 40 5 Uganda 31,903 1,980 251 Vanuatu 232 40 5 Yemen 23,066 4,460 566 Total 772,185 304,400 38,6101 Assuming a capacity factor of 90 percent, typical of new geothermal power plants.Government mandates and incentives for geothermal energy Currently, geothermal as a renewable energy source is being explored in a significant manner only in a fraction of the total number of countries worldwide, but this number is likely to increase with advanced technologies as Enhanced Geothermal is expanding the range of potential regions that could be sources of geothermal energy. In those countries that have existing proven geothermal resources (such as the USA and Philippines), the governments have released mandates and programmes that show exceptional support for this renewable energy source. This support is in the form of tax breaks, grants, subsidies and more. How can individuals and entrepreneurs benefit from this dramatic opportunity? Geothermal energy industry presents attractive opportunities to a wide range of people, including investors and entrepreneurs.
Business opportunities by scale of investments required Scale of Type of OpportunityInvestment Consulting and installation for home-based geothermal systems Low Training people for geothermal heat pump installations Setting up medium scale geothermal plants Medium Setting up manufacturing plants for components and accessories for the geothermal energy industry Setting up large-scale geothermal equipment and components manufacturing plants Setting up large geothermal power plants or home-based geothermal installations High Involving in large-scale distribution of biofuels o Centralized grid-connected geothermal plants o Installing large-scale distributed (home or location-based) geothermal heat pumps