|Interest in geothermal starts to pick up
The demand for geothermal energy is increasing as more countries consider geothermal a part of their future energy mix. In 2010, globally geothermal produced twice as much energy as solar.
Currently the US is the global leader in geothermal energy production but government policies are constraining its development. Elsewhere, the rate of growth of geothermal energy is starting to challenge the USís.
According to Renewable Energy Focus, Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia are all pushing forward on geothermal and very eager to expand. A mix of the need to provide energy to rural and low-income communities, favourable policies, economic growth and energy security threats are responsible for their increased interest.
Elsewhere, Dominica is leading a group of 52 other island states seeking to exploit geothermal also. They include the Maldives, Mauritius, Tuvalu and the Cook Islands. They believe with the use of geothermal energy they can reduce their CO2 emissions by 45% in 18 years. This is particularly of interest to the Maldives as the low-lying island state could disappear with even a small rise in sea level.
Among developed countries, a meeting of Japanese, European and Icelandic geothermal representatives in Brussels also met in May to elaborate their goals for integrating geothermal into their respective nations.
The group found, however, that despite the potential of geothermal for decarbonisation, policy makers are not aware of it as an option.