WGC 2015 celebrates industry success story

Closing Ceremony at the World Geothermal Congress 2015, Melbourne/ Australia (source: ThinkGeoEnergy)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 28 Apr 2015

The event concluded last week being a tremendous success with an incredible amount of papers showcased and visitors to the event in Melbourne.

The largest gathering of the global geothermal industry, the World Geothermal Congress 2015, highlights the industry’s continuing growth and its important contribution to the movement towards a sustainable energy future.

The World Geothermal Congress 2015 concluded in Melbourne, Australia, today. Held every five years, the event is the largest and most important gathering of the global geothermal community. More than 1,600 participants attended a number of short courses, technical presentations, side events, and an extensive exhibition of geothermal companies and organisations from around the world. The event was co-hosted by New Zealand, where a number of short courses and field trips to geothermal plants are taking place.

At the congress a global update on geothermal installations and development was provided both on power generation and the direct use of heat for the period of 2010 to 2015.

The global geothermal power market continues to grow. Today, there is an installed power generation capacity of 12,635 MW, a figure that has grown by 16% over a 5-year period. It is expected that increase will continue, with installed power generation capacity reaching 21,400 MW in 2020. The main region for geothermal power is Asia & Pacific, with Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand in the forefront. This is followed by North America.

Countries which have seen the most growth in recent years are Kenya, which has added up to 400 MW in capacity, followed by Turkey, adding 306 MW, and New Zealand, which has added an additional 234 MW.

The direct use of geothermal has seen a massive 45% growth since 2010, with installed capacity now reaching 70,330 MWth spread across 82 countries, up from 48,500 MWth five years ago. The utilization of geothermal energy for direct use of heat has helped prevent emissions of 148 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

Slightly more than half of the direct use globally comes from Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP), with balneology accounting for 20% and space heating for 15% (89% of this is used for district heating). There has been a significant increase in the number of countries making use of GSHP, from 26 in 2010, to 48 in 2014; the leading countries in terms of installed capacity are, in descending order, the USA, China, Sweden, Germany, and France. This has also helped create employment, with 34,000 person years now spent in 52 countries annually.

The event would like to thank gold sponsors Energy Development Corporation, Exergy, and Ormat, its silver sponsor Contact Energy and the sponsor of the poster gallery GNS Science.

Release (pdf): Global gathering celebrates the continuing success story of growth in both geothermal power generation and heat production, April 24, 2015.

Data (xls): Global Geothermal Power Update 2015 (key highlights)