Chinese study finds huge geothermal potential in the country

Yangbajain geothermal power plant in Tibet, China (source: flickr/ mattwan, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 9 Oct 2012

The Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources recently stated results of a nationwide survey of its geothermal energy resources, quoting an energy potential from geothermal equivalent of 860 trillion tons of standard coal.

A new study by China’s Ministry of Land and Resources quotes a tremendous geothermal potential at expected depths of 3,000 to 10,000 meters.

The energy equivalent of 860 trillion tons of standard coal are an incredibly huge energy source for a country that still heats to a large degree by coal. So while studies and numbers like this have to be read with caution, it highlights the fact that China sits on a huge energy source for its heating and – if economically feasible and competitive – for power generation.

The main geothermal resources of the country are though to be considered low-heat resources, particularly usable for direct use of heat. The country has two geothermal power plants both located in Tibet.

The national survey conducted between 2009 and 2011 re-evaluated the “the storage of shallow geothermal energy in 287 cities, geothermal energy in 12 sedimentary basins and 2562 hot springs regions, as well as the potential hot-dry-rock geothermal power at between 3,000 and 10,000 meters below the surface of the earth.”, so Chinese news.

Source: Want China Times