Report: Seeking the heat in Alberta/ Canada – the opportunity of geothermal

Temperatures in inactive oil and gas wells as potential for geothermal development (source: Fuzeium Innovations, Inc.)
Alexander Richter 18 Dec 2017

A new report describes the geothermal opportunity in the province of Alberta/ Canada, highlighting the potential use of existing but inactive oil and gas wells as well as the existing oil and gas know-how and experience of the province, favourable to development of a geothermal industry.

Pembina Institute in Canada has released a report on “Alberta’s geothermal industry potential and barriers”.

The report describes that the Province of Alberta “has significant geothermal resources that may be developed to provide a renewable source of heat and power.”

“Geothermal energy has been receiving increasing attention here, in large part because the province’s oil and gas (O&G) history potentially makes geothermal energy development a logical fit for the province. However, Alberta currently has no installed geothermal capacity, with the exception of two commercial hot springs. This raises the question of whether Alberta really is strongly positioned to develop geothermal energy and, if it is, why a substantial industry has failed to form.”

The report, written initially as a MSc thesis, sees  “similarities between Alberta’s O&G sector and the province’s emerging geothermal energy industry make Alberta strongly positioned to develop geothermal energy.

The province can capitalize on tangible and intangible resources associated with the O&G sector, including relevant skills, data, physical assets, markets, and regulatory experience, to facilitate the development of a geothermal energy industry. In some cases, the full extent of these similarities is currently unknown, requiring more learning about the potential for a geothermal industry to draw on O&G resources.”

In detail the report describes the overall geothermal opportunity for the province,  as well as what processes are required to develop a geothermal industry that – so the report – has yet to be substantially formed. The report further provides a number of policy recommendations.

A rather interesting report that should help to further push a discussion on geothermal energy development in Canada.


The report can be downloaded here.

Source: Pembina Institute