Thursday, March 17, 2016

USA: GEA Predicts 18.4 GW of Global Geothermal Energy by 2021

2016 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report (PDF)

The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has release its latest snapshot of the geothermal energy industry in the USA and around the world. Highlights include:

United States
  • The U.S. industry had about 3.7 GW of installed nameplate capacity and 2.71 GW of net capacity at the end of 2015 and brought online 70 MW at two plant expansions in Nevada.
  • In total, the U.S. market had about 1,250 MW of geothermal power under development with about half a gigawatt stalled in Phase 3, waiting for power purchase agreements (PPAs). These are projects that could be brought online in 17-33 months or sooner with the appropriate power contracts. An independent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reached a similar conclusion.
  • Despite legislative stops and starts, a few new laws passed in 2015 could create new opportunities for geothermal companies in the US like a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in Hawaii, a 50% RPS in California, and EPA’s new Clean Power Plan if states choose to use geothermal power as part of their compliance options.
  • GEA data shows a total of 18 new geothermal power plants came online in 2015, adding about 313 MW of new capacity to electricity grids globally.
  • The global market is at about 13.3 GW of operating capacity as of January 2016, spread across 24 countries.
  • This year the global geothermal market was developing about 12.5 GW of planned capacity spread across 82 countries.
  • Based on current data, the global geothermal industry is expected to reach about 18.4 GW by 2021.
  • Overall, if all countries follow through on their geothermal power development goals and targets the global market could reach 32 GW by the early 2030s.
  • Flash technologies, including double and triple flash, compose a little less than two-thirds of installed capacity globally, while dry steam is about a quarter and binary is a remaining sixth. The last remaining 1% includes back pressure and other developing and experimental types of geothermal technologies.
  • The United Nations and IRENA pledged a five-fold growth in the installed capacity for geothermal power generation and at least two-fold growth for geothermal heating by 2030 compared to 2014 levels.
  • Communities and governments around the world have only tapped 6 to 7 % of the total global potential for geothermal power based on current geologic knowledge and technology. There are vast untapped resources that could provide baseload renewable energy to grids across the globe. However, natural disasters, permitting delays, and trouble obtaining financing have slowed geothermal power’s growth globally.
GEA 2016 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report (PDF)