Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Canada: Ontario Power Producers Boost Geothermal

Geothermal could be Canada’s most overlooked clean energy resource (Association of Power Producers Of Ontario)

If someone stood up in a crowded room and said that Canada has access to thousands of megawatts of reasonably-priced, dependable, carbon-free power generation that remains entirely undeveloped, he or she would likely face a fair bit of skepticism. This must be unproven technology, many would think. It must use a lot of land or water resources. There must be a problem with it or someone would have built it here, skeptics would mutter. However in this case, the doubters may be all wrong. The technology is mature, with operating installations all over the world, using minimal amounts of land and producing virtually zero atmospheric emissions.

In fact, there’s a strong case that geothermal is the most under-developed source of energy in Canada. According to its proponents, the barriers to its development are not economic or technical. The primary reason that geothermal energy remains under-developed is that it has often been overlooked in energy policy processes. While wind, solar, waterpower and bio-energy qualify for a range of renewable energy programs at the provincial level, geothermal has been inexplicably excluded from most. While the same renewable sources enjoy special treatment at the federal level, geothermal is again largely left out. It does not benefit from the full range of policies supporting conventional fossil fuels nor from most of the special programs available for renewables and energy efficiency.

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