In the renewable energy sector, solar and wind power have received the most attention, for good reasons. But activity is on the rise in another resource area, geothermal energy. The global market for geothermal power is growing rapidly, according to a recent report from the Geothermal Energy Association.
The report identifies over 700 projects moving forward in 70 countries, with 11,766 megawatts of new capacity in the early stages of development or under construction. By the end of this year, the global geothermal market is expected to operate 12,000 megawatts of capacity online.
In addition, Enhanced Geothermal System projects that supply electricity to national grids have started up in the US. EGS projects capture power from very hot rocks buried thousands of feet below the surface. EGS technologies use directional drilling and pressurized water to enhance flow paths from this subsurface rock to create new reservoirs, capturing energy from resources that were previously considered uneconomical to recover.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that EGS projects in the U.S. have the potential to add 100 to 500 gigawatts of geothermal resource capacity to U.S. production. The bottom line? Add geothermal to the list of renewable resources that will power our future.
Article by John Howell, appearing courtesy 3BL Media.