Vancover — You may be surprised to learn that Canada has no utility-scale geothermal power plants operating in the country. None. Just to the south, it’s American neighbor has over 10 GW of such projects in operation. Why the difference?
Lack of government support is the primary reason, according to the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA). Because of the country’s great hydro and gas resources, geothermal has been ignored. But with 5 GW of potential in the western part of the country, CanGEA hopes to drum up support for the industry and get some projects in the ground.
According to figures from Islandsbanki, as reported by CanGEA, 27 percent of geothermal project development is done by Canadian companies. Yet, those same companies are doing virtually no business in their home country. CanGEA is using that statistic to show Canadian politicians the construction activity and job creation that is going south of the border.
The call for more support came from CanGEA chairman Alison Thompson, who was speaking at a geothermal conference in Vancouver earlier this month. Thompson says the industry wants the Canadian federal and provincial governments to invest in mapping studies and provide early-stage financial support, as the United States has.
Below is a video from the Vancouver conference highlighting the industry’s call to action on geothermal: