A group of global organizations have come together to standardize the way resource assessments are conducted, reviewed and reported to help identify the real value of geothermal prospects.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Geothermal Association, World Bank and Global Geothermal Alliance earlier this month said they will collaborate on gathering and classifying geothermal resource data to develop a reliable set of procedures for screening a site for geothermal energy.
IRENA said that specifications of the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) to Geothermal Energy Resources and Reserves will provide a framework to qualify estimates of extractable geothermal energy by projects — taking into account economic viability, technical feasibility and geological confidence. According to IRENA, the UNFC Geothermal Specifications have only been applied to single project case studies in a few countries. This new collaboration will support the application of the classification to whole countries.
“The UNFC system, when applied, is expected to foster an easier understanding of the geothermal resource base in most countries, and facilitate effective valuation of geothermal fields, and as a consequence, increase access to finance for investments in the sector,” said Abdulmalik Oricha Ali, IRENA’s coordinator for the project.
The project will begin by reviewing and classifying the identified geothermal projects and resource estimates of Flores — an Indonesian island with 14 different geothermal projects.