Geothermal Energy Capacity Expected to More Than Double by 2030

Geothermal energy capacity will more than double by 2030 as developing economies including Indonesia, Chile and Kenya take advantage of natural resources, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Global capacity is estimated to reach 28.3 gigawatts in 62 markets in 2030, compared with 11.4 gigawatts in 25 markets last year, Mark Taylor, a New Energy Finance analyst, said today at the U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Finance Forum in New York.

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

Capacity in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy, is estimated to more than triple to 5.6 gigawatts and account for 20 percent of output, becoming the world’s largest market. It ranked third in 2012 at 1.3 gigawatts.

Chile will increase to 1.9 gigawatts from none and Kenya to 3.5 gigawatts from 202 megawatts, according to data compiled by London-based New Energy Finance.

Geothermal energy uses naturally occurring hot water on the surface or underground to power a heat pump or turbine for electricity generation.

The U.S. was the largest market in 2012 with about 3 gigawatts, approximately 27 percent of global capacity, followed by the Philippines at 1.7 gigawatts at 15 percent.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: Geothermal plant via Shutterstock

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