Geothermal energy: installed capacity could double

According to a study by Pike Research, this resource is still greatly untapped compared to its potential. But the grow rate could significantly increase, allowing worldwide installed capacity to double by 2020

The geothermal energy industry is becoming increasingly appealing in various regions of the world, and its fast-paced growth could lead to a 134% increase in installed electric power by 2020.

This estimate is found in a new report from Pike Research (Geothermal Power), which emphasizes that this resource is still greatly untapped, compared to its exceptionally high potential.

In order to create the favourable conditions needed to accelerate the exploitation of geothermal resources, multiple actions are to be taken. First of all, exploration and studying activities must be increased so as to achieve a greater and more specific knowledge regarding the potential and possibilities for exploitation of this resource. Moreover, technological progress must be stimulated in order for drilling to become efficient and less expensive. Finally, it is necessary to increase financial motivations for investors.

Under these conditions, with continuous oil price surge amid tensions and consolidated carbon emissions reduction regulations, Pike Research believes that the global installed capacity by the end of 2020 could reach 25,100 MW, compared with the current 10,700 MW.

But even if the surrounding conditions were far less favorable, the geothermal industry will still register a fast-paced growth, resulting in a 34% increase to say the least, which could enlarge the capacity of operating plants to 14,300 MW by the end of the decade.

Currently 26 countries have put geothermal plants into service for electricity generation, 88% of which are concentrated in only seven countries: USA, Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, Italy, Japan and Iceland, in order of installed capacity.