Thursday, February 4, 2016

USA: #1 in Geothermal Power

The U.S. Is The World's Top Energy Superpower (Forbes)

(Courtesy NREL)
Many people believe that Iceland leads the world in geothermal power, or that France leads the world in nuclear power production. These beliefs are pervasive, but untrue in an absolute sense. In fact, according to last year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the U.S. was ranked:
  • #1 in oil production
  • #1 in natural gas production
  • #1 in nuclear power
  • #1 in wind power
  • #1 in geothermal power
  • #1 in biofuels
Why then do multiple countries lay claim to being the world leader in specific categories of energy production? It’s a function of per capita production. For example, Iceland does produce more geothermal power per capita, because as with Denmark and wind power, it has a lot of geothermal resources for a relatively small population (1/1000th the size of the U.S.) Thus, while the U.S. has more than 5 times the installed geothermal capacity of Iceland, we receive a much smaller proportion of our electricity from geothermal power (0.3%) than does Iceland (30%).  For what it’s worth, even though Iceland gets much more press, Kenya is actually the global leader in per capita geothermal production at more than 50% of its overall power derived from geothermal.

Make no mistake. No other country produces energy on the scale and scope of the United States.