2020 to become a milestone year for the global geothermal energy sector
Going into a new decade, geothermal energy is well positioned in the efforts on a global energy transition providing heating, cooling and electricity around the clock, so the International Geothermal Association.
With the beginning of 2020, an exciting year and decade starts for the global geothermal energy community, so the International Geothermal Association (IGA) in a release today. Convening at the World Geothermal Congress 2020 (www.wgc2020.com) in Reykjavik, Iceland April 27 to May 1, 2020, the geothermal community enters a new period for our industry, rejuvenated and excited with the increasing interest into what geothermal energy has to offer in the global energy transition.
Expecting around 3,000 participants from all over the world, the World Geothermal Congress (WGC) will feature an exciting program, technical sessions, a trade show, side events, field trips and discussions related to everything that geothermal energy has to offer. The great opportunities to show the world the many elements of geothermal energy utilization just in a one-hour radius of the venue for the conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, will allow the industry to highlight the important role it has to offer for a cleaner and sustainable energy future.
The IGA continues on its path to push geothermal development forward globally through its activities, among others representing geothermal at international energy events, its efforts on standards for geothermal resource assessments, engaging with other renewable energy organisations and much more. We are representing geothermal energy as a valid and elementary part of the efforts to decarbonize the energy sector, not only for power generation but also heating and cooling. We are thereby understanding our sector as part of a global renewable energy revolution that is shaping the future how we derive, utilize and sustain energy sources for future generations.
Today, geothermal power plants are operating in 29 countries with a total installed power generation capacity of 15,400 MW at the year-end 2019. The leading countries based on installed capacity are the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, New Zealand and Mexico. With ongoing development an additional 50 countries could see the addition of geothermal power generation to their energy mix. Globally, geothermal power generation capacity could reach 28,000 MW in the next 15-20 years. Over the next 5-year period, with the ongoing development IGA expects development of 4,500 MW in power generation capacity added. Key growth markets remain to be Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
Support mechanisms introduced by multilaterals, such as the World Bank, and development banks continue to play an important role in getting projects over the big hurdles in the early stages of geothermal development, how sustainable that support is for further development will have to be seen.
The key growth market for the geothermal sector though, will be the heating and cooling market. Targeting an energy transition, the European Green Deal announced by the new European Commission, the heating and cooling market is becoming the center of efforts on an energy market decarbonization. This provides an incredible opportunity for the geothermal sector, that already sees increased interest by energy utilities all over Europe and beyond. Efforts by cities like Munich in Germany, in the Nordic countries and in the Netherlands to tap into geothermal energy for its heating needs show an increased expansion of geothermal development efforts beyond “traditional” geothermal markets in volcanic regions of this world.
The timing of IGA’s World Geothermal Congress 2020 taking place in 27 April to 1 May 2020 in Reykjavik, Iceland is perfect in the current market environment. It allows us to engage the global geothermal energy community, its partners and potential customers to discuss the opportunities and challenges, while also highlight what has been achieved. Being able to showcase how Iceland is utilizing energy to its fullest extent possible is providing an incredibly timely opportunity for the geothermal community.
Alongside many ongoing and planned initiatives, the IGA is striving to create value for the geothermal sector and expand its collective voice on behalf of global geothermal development. These initiatives are already well underway with the deployment of UNFC Specifications for Geothermal Energy Resources, and engagement on the Geothermal Sustainability Assessment Protocol.
IGA is actively taking steps for a deeper engagement with industry on activities and alignment that supports and strengthens our scientific and academic roots. Contact us for details on how you can support us in our efforts to give geothermal energy the attention it deserves.
About the International Geothermal Association (IGA)
Founded in 1988, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) is the international representation of the global geothermal energy industry. With more than 4,000 members in over 65 countries, IGA is a non-political, non-profit, non-governmental organization with consultative status to the UN and special observer status to the Green Climate Fund.
In our representation of the global geothermal community, we support and promote the sustainable utilization and development of geothermal energy resources through education, research, collaboration, and social awareness. We promote and support geothermal energy, as a sustainable, clean and valuable source of energy for future generations.
As the association of associations, IGA currently represents 36 national geothermal associations and groups, as well as industry and institutions.
Source: IGA release
Disclaimer: The author is President of the IGA.