New Projects, Renewables

N. America leads world in number of geothermal projects in development

North America US Asia Pacific Indonesia Philippines lead on geothermal energy Navigant Research

North America and Asia Pacific lead the world in terms of geothermal projects in the final stages of development, according to Electric Light & Power/POWERGRID International magazines.

The report from Navigant Research says both regions have 56 reported projects in either active drilling or construction stages. Nearly all of these projects are in the U.S., the Philippines and Indonesia, the top three countries in installed geothermal power production capacity globally, the study concludes.

“More than 4 gigawatts (GW) of geothermal power capacity are expected to come online worldwide between 2013 and 2018,” says Mackinnon Lawrence, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “This total includes only projects in advanced stages of development. A significant, though mostly unconfirmed, amount of capacity remains locked up in early-stage projects, some of which are likely to be cancelled before completion. As a number of these projects are further developed and their resource potential confirmed, the long-term pipeline — 2017 and later — is expected to expand proportionally.”

Although North America leads all regions with the largest number of projects in the pipeline, Asia Pacific has the most reported capacity under development. Located in areas of high seismic and volcanic activity, the island nations of Indonesia and the Philippines account for 63 percent of reported projects across the Asia Pacific region, according to the report.

A reported 7.4 GW is currently in the pipeline in Asia Pacific, representing 40 percent of the global capacity under development. Latin America and Africa account for a combined 3.8 GW of additional capacity under development equal to 20 percent of the global pipeline.

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This article was originally published in Electric Light & Power/POWERGRID International. It was republished with permission.