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Article: Top 5 reasons geothermal is not kicking off in Canada

Well MC6 being flowtested at Meager Creek, BC/ Canada (source: Western GeoPower)
Alexander Richter 28 Feb 2014

In a recent article in Canada, the top 5 reasons of why geothermal is not kicking it off in Canada are given naming mostly a lack in government interest and support.

The country of Canada has no commercial power plants, despite an abundant geothermal potential and lots of Canadian involvement in international geothermal development, mostly across the border in the U.s.

Canada’s western provinces are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire with similar geological and volcanic settings as e.g. California, but there is no development.

In an article in Desmog, the author describes his top 5 reasons why geothermal in Canada is “nowhere”.

Number 1 – Canada is blessed with cheap resources

With hydro and oil reserves, power has been rather cheap, something that geothermal finds hard to compete with.

Number 2 – Upfront cost and risk is high

The upfront cost for geothermal is a big challenges to get over the initial hurdles of development.

Number 3 – Limited government interest and support

Geothermal has simply not received any reasonable funding and nothing compared to either the fossil fuel industry or even other renewables such as wind.

Another challenges is also that it is impossible to “get a geothermal lease in an oil and gas development in British Columbia,” says Craig Dunn of Calgary based Borealis GeoPower.

Number 4 – Chicken or egg problem

As there is no commercial power plant operating in Canada, politicians don´t even look at geothermal. But without any interest and support there will be no plant, an essentially impossible situation.

Number 5 – No price on carbon

If one would price carbon emissions, the game would change dramatically for geothermal. While being economically viable and profitable, a price of carbon would essentially increase profitability of geothermal projects, but first and foremost provide an equal level playfield for geothermal vs other types of energy.

Source: Desmog Canada