Friday, November 2, 2012

Global geothermal energy development - Quick overview

Geothermal energy industry is still far from getting the lion's share of total renewable energy investment. The global geothermal energy development has therefore been characterized with slow and steady growth, without too many oscillations.

United States is still global geothermal energy leader, accounting for approximately one quarter of total geothermal capacity installed worldwide. Most of the U.S. geothermal production comes from the two states, California and Nevada.

The U.S. geothermal energy industry is far from its best days, mostly because of fears about what will happen with federal tax credits for geothermal that are set to expire at the end of 2013. The uncertainty is something that drives investors away from new geothermal energy projects as they look for safer bets on energy market, especially given the large upfront costs connected with geothermal exploration and drilling.

Elsewhere, things are looking very good for geothermal energy industry in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia. These three countries are rapidly developing their geothermal energy industries and have made geothermal energy top candidate to lead them towards the clean energy future.

These three countries have abundant geothermal resources at their disposal, particularly Indonesia that has 27,510 MW of untapped geothermal power. The Indonesia government plans to install 5,000 MW of geothermal capacity by 2025.

Kenya has around 7,000 MW of untapped geothermal resources. Kenya's current geothermal capacity of 202 MW certainly has plenty of room for further growth, and the country has already identified 14 sites to develop new geothermal projects.

Turkey is rapidly increasing its geothermal capacity. Turkey currently has 100MW of installed geothermal power capacity, and plans to increase it to 500 MW by 2015.

More countries will hopefully jump on the geothermal energy bandwagon. Not only is geothermal energy environmentally friendly source of energy but it also improves energy security and creates new jobs. It is also more reliable in comparison to solar and wind because of its 24-7 availability.