News

Latin America only scratching the surface of its geothermal potential

Miravalles V - Ormat unit, Costa Rica (source: Ormat Technologies)
Alexander Richter 13 Apr 2016

A recent article by The Guardian describes the great geothermal potential of Latin America and how little it is currently being utilised.

In The Guardian, a recent article looks at Latin America and its geothermal potential, currently using only about 5% of its natural heat resources, having too small of an industry that is in dire need of incentives.

The article describes how the oil crisis of the 1970s had a big impact on geothermal energy development in the region, with countries such as Costa Rica making big efforts. Today, the country derives around 13% of its electricity from geothermal.

“In total, it’s estimated that Latin America uses no more than 5% of its geothermal potential of 300 terawatt-hour per year, according to reports released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the World Bank. Geothermal currently represents a small portion (less than 1%) of the energy matrix of Latin America.”, so the Guardian.

Talking to different people in the region, it seems obvious that there could and should be more cooperation between the countries of Latin America on geothermal development, as e.g. Luis Gutiérrez-Negrín, the former President of the Mexican Geothermal Association states. For Mexico, geothermal is seen as a great tool to reach the country’s goals of “cleaning up its energy mix.”

In South America, the story looks a little bit more bleak. While a new project is under construction in Chile, the country with likely the most geothermal potential, has not been able to offer sufficient support and incentives that could help kickstart geothermal development.

For the full article see link below.

Source: The Guardian