Geothermal Energy Market growth driven by increasing focus on clean energy development

Concerns over rising carbon emissions and the shift to clean and sustainable energy sources will shape the future of the geothermal energy market. As a clean, reliable, consistent, and carbon-free source of energy, geothermal energy is a preferred renewable source that is widely recognized around the world. Derived from hot water and / or steam generated on the earth’s surface, this heat energy can be used to generate electricity or for heating / cooling.

Traditionally, geothermal energy has been used with district heating systems to heat building spaces in colder regions such as Iceland. This power used from hot reservoirs is completely renewable when combined with solar and wind power, its power output can be easily calculated due to the lack of fluctuations. However, for efficient power generation, geothermal sites may have high or medium temperature resources, usually near tectonically active regions. Also, the use of geothermal energy can cause some environmental effects such as the release of some gases stored under the earth’s surface during excavation. However, these emissions are much lower than those involved in fossil fuels.

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The market for geothermal energy has a lucrative potential, with ongoing research and development activities expected to increase the cost of setting up geothermal plants. Estimates indicate that geothermal power plants can generate 0.0035 to 2 terawatts of power. With the development of new technologies to improve energy production, the geothermal energy industry will gain significant traction for a large number of exploration activities worldwide. For example, in 2021, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC) announced the implementation of the country’s first geothermal field development project in Ladakh that will use heat from geothermal sources to generate clean energy.

A report published by Global Market Insights, Inc., that global project Geothermal energy market It is estimated to be worth $ 50.04 billion by 2027. Installation of geothermal plants is expected to be huge in areas witnessing irregular solar and wind patterns. Countries across North America and Asia are benefiting from geothermal energy to meet their electricity needs. The United States is one of the largest generators of geothermal power, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2020, geothermal power plants in seven U.S. states generated approximately 17 billion kilowatts (kWh) of electricity, accounting for 0.4% of total U.S. utility-scale power generation.

In industrial applications, geothermal energy is used in food dehydration, pasteurizing milk, and gold mining. Demand Geothermal heat pump (GHPs) are also gaining momentum because they use 25% -50% less electricity than conventional heating and cooling systems. This reduction in energy costs can result in a 44% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to air-source heat pumps.

However, there are also some challenges in generating electricity from geothermal energy sources such as high drilling costs, exploration risks, permit issues and low public awareness. These factors may affect the expansion of the geothermal energy industry.

Is geothermal energy available worldwide?

Geothermal energy is currently being used by more than 25 countries around the world. It is helping countries like El Salvador, Iceland, Kenya, New Zealand and the Philippines meet their heating and electricity needs. According to a report, Iceland is using geothermal energy to meet more than 90% of its household heating needs. The country has long been working with UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) to generate similar interest in energy use by financing research projects in East Africa and training future geothermal engineers.

It is speculated that East Africa could become a major revenue pocket for geothermal energy companies. The region has the potential to generate about 20 gigawatts of electricity from geothermal energy. This is significant because in 2018, 25% to 89% of East Africa’s population reported lack of access to electricity. Geothermal power plants are one of the ideal options for power generation across such areas because they can supply baseload power and not. Weather depends on the conditions that most affect the performance of solar and wind power generation systems.

Which country produces the most geothermal energy?

The EIA report states that in 2018, about 27 countries around the world, including the United States, generated a total of 83 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from geothermal energy. The United States tops the list in terms of geothermal power generation, followed by Indonesia, which generates about 14 billion kilowatts of electricity, equivalent to about 5% of its power generation capacity. Meanwhile, Kenya is emerging as a promising market for geothermal electricity produced.

New investments in setting up geothermal power plants in the region could strengthen the regional market outlook in the coming years. In 2021, the Kenyan Geothermal Development Company (GDC) received a 5 million grant to increase work on geothermal exploration in East Africa. With an overall potential of about 3,000 MW, GDC aims to develop up to 300 MW of capacity in the geothermal fields of Korosi, Paka and Silali by 2030.

Geothermal power plants are currently operating in different countries of the world. With ongoing technological advances and spreading awareness, an additional 50 countries could focus on harnessing the potential of geothermal power generation in their energy mix. Key markets in North America, Africa and Asia will help increase global geothermal energy production capacity in the next 15-20 years.

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