World Bank describes geothermal as attractive energy option for Latin America

Los Azufres III, Phase 1 (Unit 17) geothermal power plant, Mexico (source: ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 2 Sep 2016

While an expensive option, the World Bank sees geothermal energy as a very attractive energy option for the region of Latin America that could be developed with the support by international organisations.

In a recent blog post by the World Bank, geothermal energy is described as “an expensive but attractive option for Latin America”.

The article describes some of the challenges for geothermal development in the region, but also describes how it could benefit from new financing models that are now available.

Earlier this year, the World Bank’s ESMAP program launched a “Comparative Analysis of Approaches to Geothermal Resource Risk Mitigation based on a Global Survey”. The paper published in March 2016, presented a comparative assessment of various approaches that have been applied around the world, with varying degrees of success, to mitigate resource risks and catalyze investments in developing the geothermal sector. It provides a framework that can help decision makers identify suitable approaches that are commensurate with development goals, funding capacity, implementation capabilities, and other circumstances specific to the context in a given country.

In this context, the World Bank looked at Latin America and its great geothermal energy potential, but also development challenges and the important role of international organizations.

“The World Bank’s ESMAP, for example, leads the Global Geothermal Development Plan to mobilize new funds for initial investment phases, which carry the greatest risk. So far, the plan has raised US $235 million, of which $162.3 million are earmarked for projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

These investments are important for the regional environment and economy since they can reduce some countries’ dependence on oil, a finite source of energy that is subject to constant price fluctuations and has a well-known negative impact on the environment.”

Source: World Bank