ThinkGeoEnergy’s Top 10 Geothermal Countries 2020 – installed power generation capacity (MWe)

ThinkGeoEnergy’s Top 10 Geothermal Countries 2020 – installed power generation capacity (MWe) ThinkGeoEnergy Top 10 Geothermal Countries - year-end 2020 (source: ThinkGeoEnergy)
Alexander Richter 7 Jan 2021

Global geothermal power generation capacity stood at 15,608 MW at the year-end 2020. The current pandemic situation clearly slowed down development with limited growth reported. Turkey represents nearly all geothermal generation capacity added in 2020.

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 2020.

Like everything else in 2020, the geothermal sector has faced a number of challenges. Developers faced challenges in putting people on site of projects, being it for drilling, construction or commissioning ready projects.

Therefore only a handful of plants managed to come online in 2020 bringing the total geothermal power generation capacity to 15,608 MW.

Gathering data on geothermal power plant development is difficult and with our ongoing work on updating our databases, we constantly tweak, update and correct data as we go along. As a disclaimer for the data presented, 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, ThinkGeoEnergy decided to apply installed nameplate power generation capacity, but only reflect that capacity that is operating – no matter if the plant produces at full capacity or not. We try our 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 2020:

  • United States – 3,714 MW – additional 19 MW are due to some correction (data refers to nameplate capacity)
  • Indonesia – 2,133 MW – no change reported
  • Philippines – 1,918 MW – no change reported
  • Turkey – 1,526 MW – 179 MW added in 2019, with still existing uncertainties regarding the FIT
  • New Zealand – 1,005 MW – expected addition of 32 MW of the Ngawha expansion project did not materialise before the year end of 2020
  • Mexico – 962.7 MW – no change
  • Italy – 944 MW – no change
  • Kenya – 861 MW – no change
  • Iceland – 755 MW – no change
  • Japan – 603 MW – continued small-scale development, the 2 MW increase is due to some correction and small-scale units added

A total of 202 MW were added in 2020. 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 2020 to 15,608 MW. The largest growth by far happened in Turkey, which saw an addition of 168 MW in capacity. Of that all capacity represents binary cycle technology.

We expect a large number of plants to come online in 2021 and see picking up activities both on exploration, drilling and construction of plants.