New Geothermal Projects Planned in Europe

As start-up costs for geothermal fall, the technology is gaining favor in Europe with the steep price increases of oil and greenhouse gas emission concerns. According to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, although global energy use from geothermal sources today only amounts to less than 1%, its previously limited use is attributed to the high start-up costs.

However, research shows costs are dropping from €50-150 [US $74-223]/megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2005, to a projected level of €40-100 [US $60-149]/MWh in 2010 and €40-80 [US $40-119]/MWh in 2020.

“Geothermal energy has several advantages when compared to other renewable energy sources as well as carbon-emitting fuels. The sector is something to watch out for in the next few years,” said Gouri Nambudripad, a Frost & Sullivan research analyst.

In some areas, it is almost competitive with conventional fuels, says the analysis. Potential areas for geothermal generation capacity are in the north western and central western coast of Italy, western part of Turkey, and parts of Portugal, Spain, France and Germany.

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