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The Top 10 Geothermal Countries 2019 – based on installed generation capacity (MWe)

Top 10 Geothermal Countries - based on installed power generation capacity in MWe (source: ThinkGeoEnergy)
Alexander Richter 27 Jan 2020

Global geothermal power generation capacity stood at 15,406 MW at the year-end 2019. With addition of 759 MW in capacity, this is the largest annual growth of geothermal in the past 20+ years.

As with every beginning of the year, we are publishing an up-to-date list of the Top 10 geothermal countries based on installed power generation capacity as of year end 2019.

Gathering data on geothermal power plant development is difficult and that’s why it has taken a little longer this time to gather the data. You will find discrepancies in the data reported by different sources and there are many reasons for this. Some organisations report gross capacity, others operating, others installed capacity, while others take averages of summer and winter capacity. They all have one challenge in common and that is that countries and organisations are often not presenting the same numbers. The result is that numbers for one country cannot be compared with another.

So some time ago, I decided to apply installed power generation capacity, but only reflect that capacity that is operating – no matter if the plant produces at full capacity or not. I try my best to exclude plants and MW that are not operating, but it is not easy. For some countries one simply has three or four different data sets and needs to make a decision that might prove to be wrong in the end.

So here the Top 10 geothermal countries year-end 2019.

  1. United States – 3,676 MW – with an additional 23 MW just added before the year-end
  2. Indonesia – 2,133 MW – 185 MW added this year
  3. Philippines – 1,918 MW – change of 50 MW is not quite clear, but might depend on work by EDC on existing plants
  4. Turkey – 1,526 MW – 179 MW added in 2019, with still existing uncertainties regarding the FIT
  5. New Zealand – 1,005 MW – no additions in 2019
  6. Mexico – 962.7 MW – one addition of 27 MW, but net only a growth of 11.7 MW due to non-operational capacity.
  7. Italy – 944 MW – with the current political climate, this number might not change much soon
  8. Kenya – 861 MW – addition of 193.3 MW the largest expansion by country this year
  9. Iceland – 755 MW – one addition of 5 MW replacing an old 3 MW plant
  10. Japan – 601 MW – continued small-scale development and one larger addition, total 51.6 MW added

A total of 759 MW were added in 2019. Other countries represent an installed power generation capacity of 1,024 MW, bringing the total installed geothermal power generation capacity at the end of the year 2019 to 15,406 MW.

We estimate that this is the largest annual growth to geothermal power generation capacity that we can follow at least back to 2000. It is though close to 2014, when growth the the year prior was around 750 MW.

Disclaimer: Change to the listing in the article … corrected Kenya’s position as No. 8