GEA lists leading geothermal cities ahead of Copenhagen meeting

Alexander Richter 10 Dec 2009

U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is highlighting the role of geothermal heating in today's climate change and renewable energy discussions and lists 10 very important geothermal district heating projects.

In a release this week, the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is highlighting the role of geothermal heating in today’s climate change and renewable energy discussions and refers to the Copenhagen meeting this week.

In the statement, GEA talks about that “This week world leaders gathering in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference have a winning view of Denmark’s famous wind turbines and recognize them as a light of hope in this time of crisis. But they should also feel the geothermal heat that is part of the solution for Copenhagen and for cities and countries around the world. In fact, Copenhagen could meet 50% of its district heating needs by using its geothermal resources. With Copenhagen in the spotlight as a shining example of geothermal’s potential, GEA has identified a list of leading geothermal cities around the globe.

“Despite its huge renewable energy potential, geothermal energy is often misunderstood or overlooked,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association. “It is an important and well-established source for electricity production and has an enormous variety of other uses, including school heating, district heating, fish farming, greenhouses, resorts, and small power production. These applications all make geothermal energy an important, adaptable and growing energy resource for modern cities.”

GEA recognizes the following cities as examples of world leaders in geothermal municipal development:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark: Having set a target of zero carbon emissions by 2025, Copenhagen is a leader in clean energy alternatives and could meet 50% of its district heating needs by using its geothermal resources.
  2. Larderello, Italy: Boasting the very first geothermal power plant which opened at the turn of the century, the “Grandfather” of geothermal energy is still a leader in its generation today.
  3. Reykjavik, Iceland: With a high level of geothermal activity and insightful developments by the Icelanders over the years, 87% (it is actually 90%) of Iceland’s buildings are heated geothermally.
  4. Reno, Nevada: City and business leaders have been encouraged by the success and remarkable potential of the energy source and are marketing Reno as a geothermal center for industry activities, corporate offices and research facilities.
  5. Perth, Australia: Perth has declared its intention to enter the geothermal community with a new twist – as the very first geothermally cooled city with commercial geothermal-powered heating and air-conditioning units.
  6. Xianyang, China: Recently deemed “China’s Official Geothermal City,” in the largest emissions-producing nation in the world, Xianyang is helping China achieve the goal they set of 16% renewables by 2020 – up from 7% in 2005. Also of note, Beijing famously used geothermal pumps to power the 2008 Olympics. (a similar project is currently planned by the same company, Shaanxi Green Energy in Hebai province)
  7. Madrid, Spain: Madrid’s regional government is on board with six renewable energy projects, one of which is a 8-MW geothermal district heating project. (a project by Australian/ Spanish Petratherm)
  8. Masdar City, Abu Dhabi: The city’s goal is to function 100% on renewable energy; a shining example to the rest of the world. The city plans to obtain half of its power from geothermal resources.
  9. Klamath Falls, Oregon: Geothermal has been used for space heating since the turn of the century and for a variety of uses including heating homes, schools, businesses, swimming pools, and for snow melt systems for sidewalks and highway. In addition, geothermal provides Oregon Institute of Technology’s 11-building campus all of its heating needs.
  10. Boise Idaho: The Boise Public Works Department has the largest direct use geothermal system in the U.S. The city’s geothermal system injects 100% of the water back into the aquifer. The Idaho State Capitol is among several buildings in the Capitol Mall area that are heated by the system. Boise built its first geothermal heating system in 1892.

Source: Release via Earth Times