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Global geothermal capacity to hit 28.6 gigawatts by 2030

Solar and wind may be the most well-developed and widely-exploited renewable energy sources today but another alternative source of energy – geothermal power - is emerging and ready to compete with these two.

Geothermal energy is expected to grow more than double by 2030 as developing countries like Indonesia, Chile and Kenya tap into the clean power available beneath their surfaces, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Speaking at the U.S. and International Energy Forum in New York, B.N.E.F. analyst Mark Taylor said global capacity will reach 28.6 gigawatts in 62 markets by that time, compared with 11.4 GW in 25 markets in 2012.

“Geothermal is being seen as a development tool now, not just a niche market,” Mr. Taylor told the delegates of the forum. “It can be used as a driver of economic growth.”

Bloomberg reported that Indonesia alone is projected to increase their geothermal capacity threefold from 1.3 gigawatts in 2012 to 5.6 GW, becoming the world’s largest market. It is currently ranked third in the world.

According to data from London-based New Energy Finance, Chile will increase to 1.9 GW from zero while Kenya will expand to 3.5 GW from 202 megawatts.

To support global geothermal energy projects, the World Bank recently launched the Global Geothermal Development Plan (see related story). The bank identified developing countries as having immense potential for geothermal energy, particularly those in East Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America and Andean regions.

Meanwhile, Japan has announced its plans to erect a minimum of 21 geothermal power plants across the country (see related story).

Currently, the U.S. is hailed as the leader in geothermal energy production with 3 GW or about 27 percent of the world’s overall capacity, followed by the Philippines with 1.7 GW or 15 percent of the worldwide share. – EcoSeed Staff

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