The Coming Geothermal Energy Boom

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"Geothermal's global potential is immense, but it remains underused."

According to a Pike Research report released last week, we'll see a significant increase in geothermal use as an energy source between now and 2020.

Geothermal boom

The Pike Research analyst constructed several scenarios based on an estimated 10.7 gigawatts of geothermal capacity in existence throughout the world in 2010.

The U.S., the world's leading user, currently possesses 3.1 gigawatts of installed geothermal systems compared to the 10.7 added gigawatts of new resources. Pike's research shows 88% of the world's geothermal energy systems currently in operation are used in only eight countries, leaving lots of room to grow the industry.

Geothermal boom

Peter Asmus, senior analyst of the report, emphasized that geothermal is currently one of the world's least-tapped opportunities for alternative energy and said in a press statement, "Worldwide potential for geothermal energy is immense, but geothermal remains an underutilized resource and represents only a small fraction of the global renewable energy portfolio. Improved access to resource data, more efficient drilling processes, increased understanding about the industry's potential and improving access to financing are driving expanding interest in the sector."

Pike reminds that the worldwide potential is immense, but geothermal remains an underutilized resource and represents only a small fraction of the global renewable energy portfolio. Improved access to resource data, more efficient drilling processes, increased understanding about the industry's potential and improving access to financing can drive expanding interest in the sector

The Pike hot rock-based research, high growth projection estimates a sharp increase in online geothermal capacity over the next decade, reaching 25.1 GW by 2020 and representing a 134% increase over current capacity and a 9% compound annual growth rate. Under this optimistic scenario the projected the value of the global geothermal power market would exceed $11.7 billion by 2020.

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