Clean Power

Published on March 4th, 2013 | by Jake Richardson


450 Geothermal Projects In Development

March 4th, 2013 by  

According to Pike Research there are about 450 geothermal projects
being developed around the world with a total estimated capacity
of 18 GW. Sixty-four countries have geothermal projects scheduled
for development, compared with just about thirty several years


An estimated 90% of the projects are conventional geothermal, which uses steam or hot water close to ground level, rather than deep within the Earth. Extensive drilling can be tricky and require an expertise that is not as abundant, which makes geothermal development in economically challenged areas more difficult. Approaches like enhanced geothermal systems are cutting-edge and still being tested.(Only about 250 MW of the 18GW is enhanced geothermal though, and these projects are located in Iceland and Italy.)

Indonesia, Chile and Kenya are international sites where much of the geothermal development activity is taking place.  Last year, in the US just about 175 MW of geothermal was installed, but currently over 5,000 MW is in development. Just over half of that total is being developed in California. Arizona, Washington, North Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Oregon are some of the others.

Geothermal plant construction typically requires more time than does other alternative energy plants such as wind or solar, so it is necessary for some changes to take place in order to spur growth, “Governments need to cut the time it takes to manage leasing and permitting—it should not take seven or more years to complete a project. Industry needs consistent and sustained research support to develop new technology, reduce risk and spur technological innovation. State renewable standards need to recognize the full benefits of geothermal power to their power system reliability and the environment,” said Karl Gawell, executive director the Geothermal Energy Association. (Source:

Image Credit: Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee)

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About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.

  • Monte McKenzie

    WV has more coal, but we are better off leaving it in the ground and mining our geothermal hot spot in eastern WV insted!
    A few years ago people started to ask why the gas and oil wells drilled along the eastern WV border were hoter than those drilled in other oil producing areas and then, Texas Christian University, sent a team to map the hot wells and their report stated that WV did have serious geothermal energy option, and that it could well provide electricty to most of the eastern USA.
    That was several years ago and to date there has been no development just a further study by WVUniversity which seems to be as dead as last friday’s fish leftovers. No state needs clean energy more than WV as almost all of the power used by WV is coal generated and from mountain top vains that perminatly distroy and polute vast areas of my beautiful state.
    Please publish something in your publication to broaden this info so the coal industry can’t twist WV politions arms to keep this from development by WV for the people of WV as a Publicly owned and managed state industry!

    • I know, it’s very sad. We wrote about the studies showing the stunning amount of geothermal potential in WV. It’s been disappointing that we haven’t heard anything since. I think I heard that, while there’s a lot of potential, it’s not very easy to tap geothermal (but that may be wrong). And, surely, there are vested energy interests there who have no inclination in letting it go forward.

  • jburt56

    Geothermal needs more development so that we don’t have to listen to “when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.”

    • Marshall Harris


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