Government Support Plays a Key Role in Approval of Geothermal Power Plants

Published Date : Mar 25, 2016

With the growing demand for renewable energy, the global geothermal energy market is registering an impressive growth. Cost competitive tariffs, regulatory support, high capacity utilization, and excellent scalability have fuelled the growth of the global geothermal energy market. Introduction of new technologies such as binary cycle technology to harness the geothermal energy economically will further drive the demand from the market in the coming years. 

Among the key regions in the global geothermal energy market, Asia Pacific has emerged as the leading region in the market in terms of installed capacity. As the region has several unexplored geothermal sites, it holds an immense potential for the growth of the overall geothermal energy market. In Europe, countries such as Iceland and Italy have been obtaining a major part of their power requirement from geothermal resources for quite some time and hence, the market is expected to be stagnant in the region.

Development of New Geothermal Power Plants in California and Kenya

In California, the renewable energy portfolio has a standard requirement that 50% of all energy procured by utilities must be derived from renewable energy sources by the end of 2030. Accordingly, the development of a new geothermal power plant in the Salton Sea in Southern California has been approved by the Imperial Irrigation District this month. The Imperial Irrigation District is the third-largest public power provider in the country. 

Though geothermal energy can be found across anywhere in the world, it is economically viable particularly in those regions where the earth’s crust is very thin and the steam comes out easily. Kenya is one such country where the earth’s crust is thin, thereby leading to easy access to hot rocks below. In Olkaria, two new geothermal energy production units have been installed last year. This has increased the country’s production of geothermal energy to 609 MW.