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New GEA Report showcases Bright Geothermal Outlook

Krafla Geothermal Station_Src_Mike Schiraldi
Krafla Geothermal Station, Src: Mike Schiraldi

The latest report released by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) reveals that the international power market is booming, with a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5%.

As per the “2014 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report” almost 700 geothermal projects currently are under development in 76 countries.

International geothermal market growth is growing with 85 MW of the total global 530 MW of new geothermal capacity added in 2013 in the U.S.

“U.S. growth was flat because of policy barriers, gridlock at the federal level, low natural gas prices and inadequate transmission infrastructure. “

“While there was a modest downturn in capacity additions, the Industry Update also underscores the tremendous untapped potential for geothermal energy,” said GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell..

“The geothermal resource base is still largely untapped,” noted Ben Matek, GEA’s Industry Analyst. “With new initiatives in Nevada, California and Oregon moving to recognize the values of geothermal power, we are optimistic that state policies could spark another period of growth in geothermal power over the next decade,” he added.

25 pieces of legislation in 13 U.S. states were enacted to address geothermal power in 2013. This created a foundation for the environment needed to foster geothermal growth in these states.

The Salton Sea Resource Area is a new initiative of California that could be a significant source of growth for the U.S. geothermal power industry if several policy barriers are overcome in the near term. The Imperial Irrigation District has pledged to build up to 1,700 MW of geothermal power by the early 2030’s at the Salton Sea. If successful, this initiative could increase the nameplate capacity of the U.S. by 50% over the next 20 years.

As for the global outlook, geothermal growth is expected in regions like East Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia that are currently building power plants greater than 100 MW.

South American nations such as Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Honduras have significant potential, but are in the early stages of identifying their resources. The GEA estimates that Chile is actively developing 50 projects and prospects.

About the Geothermal Energy Association: The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association composed of U.S. companies who support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are developing geothermal resources worldwide for electrical power generation and direct-heat uses.

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