Fast depleting conventional fuels, and increasing interest in alternative energy sources are driving growth of geothermal energy worldwide. New technologies being developed for extracting, as well as utilizing geothermal energy are expected to drive growth in new markets.
Climate change is one of the important factors in geothermal energy sector. As geothermal energy is virtually greenhouse gas emission-free, there exists potential to mitigate huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Geothermal energy is accessible 24×7, eliminating the variability problems that are related to other renewable technologies such as solar and wind. Governments also play an important role in driving the geothermal industry.
Several legislations are being announced and implemented for supporting development of geothermal resources. Several novel direct-use technologies are emerging, mainly in the Air Conditioning sector that are supporting the growth of geothermal industry. Through the introduction of new technologies, installation challenges related to geothermal energy, mainly related to costs could be solved.
The United States and Asia Pacific are the leaders in exploiting geothermal energy resources as stated by the new market research report on geothermal energy. Currently, the most well known applications of geothermal energy are generation of electric power and space heating.
The US, the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, and Italy are the leading countries in geothermal energy sector, accounting for more than three quarters of global electricity production using geothermal energy. The major 10 countries generate more than 95% of the world’s total electricity generated using geothermal energy. Main resources of geothermal energy are hot regions or areas along the tectonic plates.
For instance the Pacific Ring of Fire holds the highest potential for generating geothermal electricity. Indonesia is a country with the highest potential of about 25-30 GW, while the US and Latin America follow closely. Regions such as Oceania and Horn of Africa (North-Eastern Africa) also offer huge geothermal potential.
The share of geothermal energy in the energy mix is expected to increase significantly, owing to increasing fuel prices. The global potential of conventional geothermal sources is estimated to be 70 GigaWatts (GW). Geothermal energy is capable of being used for producing electricity, for providing hot water or heat to be utilized in direct applications as well as for indirect usage by utilizing geothermal heat pumps.
Geothermal resources provides excellent base load electricity, comparable to conventional energy resources such as coal-based power. Conventional geothermal systems are used on worldwide basis; however increasing costs of drilling are affecting the economic viability of geothermal energy. Binary cycle technology is an improved technology that enables production of electricity by utilizing low temperature geothermal sources. The technology provides capabilities for producing geothermal energy in countries including Germany, where primarily low temperature geothermal energy resources exist.
Geothermal energy is still at a nascent stage, and there exists no clear leader in terms of technology or production. Most of the geothermal energy producers are local players, with a mix of incumbent utilities and emerging players.
Chevron Corporation is the largest geothermal energy producer worldwide, with production concentrated mostly in Indonesia and the Philippines. Several players are expected to emerge in future, owing to the increasing interest in geothermal energy. Key geothermal energy producers profiled in the report include Calpine Corporation, CalEnergy Generation, Chevron Corporation, Davenport Power, LLC, Enel North America, Inc., Energy Development Corporation, Florida Power & Light Company, Green Rock Energy Limited, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, Nevada Geothermal Power, Inc., Northern California Power Agency, Petratherm, Ltd., PT Geo Dipa Energi, PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, Ram Power Corp, Reykjavik Energy, Sierra Geothermal Power Corp., Terra-Gen Power, LLC, and Vulcan Power Company. Key suppliers of geothermal energy equipment profiled in the report include Alstom Power, Ansaldo Energia, ClimateMaster Inc., Econar Geosystems LLC, Florida Heat Pump, Fuji Electric Systems Co. Ltd., Geothermal Development Associates, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Nuovo Pignone, Ormat Technologies Inc., Toshiba Power Systems Company, and Waterfurnace International Inc.
The report titled “Geothermal Energy: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, technological overview, product introductions/innovations, and recent industry activity. The study analyzes market data and analytics in terms of installed capacity for geothermal power production for regions including The United States, Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of World.