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Geothermal stations gaining momentum

Installed geothermal capacity is likely to rise by 1.5 times over the next five years as energy companies diversify into alternative markets, prompted by the drive for a transition to renewable energy sources, analysts Rystad Energy reported.

Capacity for geothermal energy production is to climb to 24 GW in 2025 compared to 16 Gw by the end of this year and investment will reach $25 billion, Rystad said in an analysis of the sector.

The number of geothermal wells drilled around the world will rise to 380 by 2025, compared to 223 recorded in 2019 – a development likely to improve the situation of oil supplier companies  – badly hit by the crisis in the oil sector.
There are now about 3,200 geothermal wells installed throughout the world – geothermal power stations are normally made up of two to six wells.

Some $40 billion has been invested in geothermal projects over the past 10 years.

The leader in terms of geothermal capacity is the United States, with 4 GW, followed by Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey and Italy. About 90 % of the market is concentrated in 10 countries, though many countries are planning to enter the market soon.

Experts say geothermal energy faces stiff competition from fast-developing solar and wind energy. But geothermal enjoys one big advantage – stations take up considerably less area, an important factor in instances where limited space is an issue.

U.S. companies Calpine and Ormat are the two biggest geothermal plant owners worldwide, each with an installed capacity of around 1200 MW.

About 40 % of expenditure on a geothermal facility focuses on the well, with the rest  devoted to surface facilities and infrastructure. From 2015 to 2019 some 30 to 80 geothermal projects were commissioned per year, necessitating the drilling of 150-200 geothermal wells.

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