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NZGA releases GeoHeat strategy for geothermal direct use

Video screenshot from NZGA GeoHeat Strategy video (source: NZGA/ YouTube)
Alexander Richter 7 Sep 2017

The New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) has released a GeoHeat Strategy for New Zealand seeking to unlock untapped potential of direct geothermal utilisation.

The New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) has released a GeoHeat Strategy For Aotearoa NZ, 2017-2030.

In New Zealand, direct geothermal use includes applications in industrial timber, food processing, agriculture, aquaculture, geothermal heating, tourism, and balneology (medicinal bathing). The New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) believes that there is potential for a significant increase in Geothermal Direct Use in New Zealand.

The Strategy developed through a consultative process was launched on June 27, 2017.

Download the Strategy (pdf)

Currently there is nearly 8.6 PJ/y of energy in direct geothermal heat use applications. Considering that:

  • The demonstrated technological, economic and environmental benefits of direct geothermal use.
  • That geothermal electricity generation developments are consented yet New Zealand’s electricity demand growth is static.
  • That we have geothermal resources with significant untapped heat potential that can be used to:
    • supply new and existing businesses with heat;
    • substitute for fossil fuel based energy;
    • attract industries to take advantage of New Zealand’s geothermal assets with the flow on environmental benefits.

NZGA believes that there is potential for a significant increase in Geothermal Direct Use.

The Geoheat Strategy seeks to unlock untapped potential, capitalising on interest in renewable geothermal energy, assisting to coordinate efforts and resources of industry and government, to drive increased interest and direct geothermal utilisation.

Geoheat-Strategy-NZ_CoverImplementing the Geoheat Strategy will assist in meeting New Zealand’s energy needs and strategic energy targets, contribute to economic and social development, and further New Zealand’s commitment to increased renewable and clean energy use.

Why Now?

Geothermal energy is in a new space in New Zealand.  The geothermally rich regions and districts are looking for development opportunities. We have extensive geothermal expertise, and we have the resources; efforts to date have been substantially focused on electricity generation. Demand for electricity is now static.

We are in a unique position to shift our focus to direct use, using expertise and knowledge gained through decades of geothermal development, to drive as an enabler, the uptake of an underutilised renewable energy resource. In doing so, we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create jobs, increase our international competitiveness, and capitalise on our natural resources and geothermal expertise.

The time is right to focus our energies and expertise on direct use through the Geoheat Strategy for Aotearoa NZ 2017 – 2030.