Utilizing the thermal energy present within the earth, geothermal energy is among the most profitable and cleanest ways of generating renewable energy sources. To utilize the resources in the best possible manner in all aspects, the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA) platform was formed at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015.
Given the use of it, you might have to think about who the leaders in geothermal energy are and which country is the largest producer in the field. Putting an end to the quest; here, you will get to know who is leading from the front. Keep on reading as we present you with a brief overview of geothermal energy and who are the leaders in this line.
Originating from the sub-surface of the earth, geothermal energy can be found within the rocks and the fluid down to the earth’s crust and to the bottom until you reach the magma. Once derived, geothermal energy can be used in diverse ways.
Typically, it is used for heating and cooling purposes besides generating electricity. In countries like Iceland, as much as 25% of the electrical energy is produced from geothermal energy. Moreover, it is used for generating electrical power in more than twenty countries.
However, to produce electricity, geothermal power plants are constructed at a large scale, fulfilling the need for high or medium temperature resources. For heating, cooling, and direct uses, geothermal heat pumps are widely used, given that there are different geothermal technologies available.
Leaders in geothermal energy
No dependency on weather conditions, geothermal energy can be utilized to produce clean electricity consistently for a longer period. High-capacity factors, reliability, and flexibility are the reasons geothermal energy is being utilized in major countries. Following, you will see a list of countries harvesting the most of geothermal energy.
The United States
Having the potential to produce a low-carbon renewable energy supply among all the countries, the United States is the largest producer with 18,336 gigawatt-hours of geothermal energy. Generated mostly in California 2,683 MWe and 795 MWe in Nevada, the US hosts the largest geothermal field. The US Department of Energy is putting its resources into use to further improve the rate of geothermal development.
Indonesia has the largest geothermal potential, but it has by far reached 15,315 gigawatt-hours of geothermal power generation and has become the world’s second-biggest producer. The government of Indonesia is trying hard to accelerate geothermal development and has a target of 7,000 MWe geothermal power production by the end of the year 2025. In line with these efforts, three new projects were set up from 2015 to 2018, and more projects are being placed in the pipeline.
The third most prominent producers of geothermal power, about 11% of the national electricity requirements of the country, are met with geothermal power generation. Home to major geothermal power plants, the Philippines is on the way to reaching the target of 4,024 MWe. However, relevant government policies and consistent effort must be placed to achieve the desired target.
Providing 8,168 gigawatt-hours of geothermal energy, Turkey stands at 4th as per the International Geothermal Association. The government is aware of the potential of geothermal energy and thus gives considerable attention to building new plants and an exploration of new fields. Many sites are under construction, and total power generation is going to see new growth once projects are completed.
With 7,728 gigawatt-hours of geothermal energy contributing about 18% of the national electricity, the progress has declined as compared to the previous years. However, the government is trying to pull out of this phase and give rise to thermal energy power generation. It is because of the effort of the government organizations that New Zealand now stands at 5th and if sufficient progress is made, it will soon surpass Turkey in geothermal production.
Kenya has seen the fastest growth during the period of 2015 to 2019; but, despite that, has not been able to take a top position. With a current total capacity of 865 MWe, the Government of Kenya is taking a keen interest in expanding it and reaching 5,000 MWe power generation by the end of 2030. Policies are being made to support the growth, in addition to giving a license to 13 Independent Power Producers to explore sites and do what is necessary to maximize the use. If consistent efforts are made, Kenya will soon achieve the target of 9,930 GWh/yr.
Clean and renewable energy is derived from the heat present in the core of the earth, geothermal energy is the future, and it is important that we know who is leading it currently and what our country can do to be a leader in the future. At present, The US, being on the top in geothermal power generation, Indonesia needs to put quite an effort and resources to be on the top.