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Economics for geothermal energy utilisation across the Northern Periphery & Arctic region

Landsvirkjun's geothermal power plant at Krafla, Iceland (source: flickr/ thinkgeoenergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 5 Sep 2018

An interesting and informative report has been released looking at the economics of geothermal energy utilisation in the countries of Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland.

In an advice note shared by GREBE (Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise) it is aimed to provide introductory material for entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s, considering to enter into the renewable energy sphere and based in the NPA regions partners to GREBE. The scope of the Advice Note covers regional, trade and industry, renewable energy (RE), technology information from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Different partner regions have different level of deployment of the various RE technologies covered by the Advice Notes. Thus, the level of information will vary depending on the level of deployment for each technology. For example, wind is not deployed on a large scale in North Karelia (Finland); however, it is widely deployed in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Full details are available on the GREBE website: http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GREBE-Advice-Notes-Geothermal.pdf

The focus of the Advice Notes is on regional information of some of the main economic characteristics sited as imperative, when making an informed choice, regarding which RE technology may be the optimal choice for a new business venture:

  • Costs and economics associated with the relevant technology
  • Support schemes available, relevant to the technology
  • Government allowance/exemptions, relevant to the technology
  • Funding available for capital costs of the relevant technology
  • List of the relevant to the technology suppliers/developers, with focus on local/regional, suppliers/developers and the products and services they offer.

It is understood that the ultimate source of geothermal energy is radioactive decay occurring deep within the earth. In most regions, this heat reaches the surface in a very diffuse state. Nevertheless, due to a range of geological processes, some areas, including substantial portions of the NPA region, are underlain by comparatively shallow geothermal resources.

However, Iceland is taking geothermal power and technology to an advanced level by exploiting the resource for power generation. Other countries in the NPA region are exploring options of exploiting the geothermal resources by the use of deep geothermal technology but are still far behind in comparison to Iceland.

Source: GREBE