Finding additional value options from geothermal might help the industry in Canada

Near Terrace, BC, Canada (source: flickr/ Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 1 Sep 2014

Canada has great geothermal potential but no current projects are happening due to cheap gas prices and a lack of support from the government. Is there room for added value in geothermal?

In a very interesting article posted by Arman Kazemi, the great potential for geothermal in Canada is detailed, yet, there is little development, mostly due to cheap gas prices and the lack of support form the government.

In his article, Mr. Kazemi cites the US example, the current global leader in geothermal and also with vast amounts of under-utilised potential due to very cheap prices for natural gas.

“Despite being the world leader in installed geothermal energy capacity, the industry in the U.S. has been struggling to keep up, mostly due to the fact that, at the moment, “natural gas is very, very cheap,” says Pete McGrail, a geothermal research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. McGrail is part of a research team looking at ways to increase the profitability of large-scale geothermal projects, which often take on the same capital risks, but with slower rates of return, as traditional oil and gas. One of the ways McGrail and others have discovered to boost geothermal’s profitability is to isolate the mineral by-products of the extraction process, which often include rare metals found deep inside the earth’s crust.”

In a similar fashion to what Simbol Materials are doing, this could be a great incentive to bolster growth in geothermal in Canada, with “potential for geothermal energy in Canada over 5,000 MW and the potential of another 5,000 MW of baseload power available to displace the equivalent amount of coal-burning energy.” according to data from CanGEA.

To read the full article, please follow the link below:

Source: Sauder School of Business Website