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Íslandsbanki releases Canada Geothermal Energy Market Report

Hot Springs Cove, Tofino, Vancouver Island (source: flickr/ Hardo, creative commons
Alexander Richter 11 Aug 2010

Islandsbanki releases Canada Geothermal Energy Market Report. The report highlights the prominent role of Canadian geothermal players in development of projects internationally and the lack in governmental support for development in Canada.

As part of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Associations (CanGEA) Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Íslandsbanki is releasing the report with a presentation on Íslandsbanki’s view on potential for Canadian geothermal development and Canadian development companies.

The report looks at potential for geothermal development in Canada despite the current lack of any major development. There currently is no installed geothermal power plants operating in Canada, with Hydro playing a major role in overall electricity generation, while other renewable – mostly biomass – represents only 2% of total electricity generation in the country.

Based on a strong natural resources tradition, Canadian and international companies have been able to raise funds on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which has helped them to pursue development outside of Canada. While not all Canada-based themselves, these companies have about 2,000MW under development in the United States, or around 27% of the total planned geothermal power capacity in the country.

According to the report, geothermal development has lacked drive and ambition since federal cut-backs in the 1980s, and current support for ongoing pilot projects is too little to push significant development.

The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is playing a crucial role on behalf of the industry representing its interests and pushing for governmental support, which is crucial for pushing any development not only in Canada.
The report highlights that, to push development, legislative efforts and financial incentives are necessary to spur development. Resource assessments and early geothermal exploration for Crown land is needed, but drilling and investment incentives would be equally important to kick-start activities in Canada.

Canadian geothermal developers play a prominent role in development of geothermal energy projects internationally. With the right kind of governmental support these developers could help Canada add important renewable energy base-load capacity to Canada’s energy mix.

The report is downloadable on www.islandsbanki.is/energy.

Disclaimer: I am an employee of Íslandsbanki and the author of the report.