World News – GB – NREL / Geothermal Rising Share First Results of 2020 US Geothermal Market Report


In this initial report of the US Geothermal Market, NREL and Geothermal Rising share details on the current growth and outlook for the US geothermal sector highlighting limited growth in recent years, but l ‘cautious optimism due to increased interest in geothermal energy

Already featured in part at the recent Geothermal Rising annual meeting, NREL has now shared the first results of the U 2020S Geothermal Power Generation and District Heating Market Report

The report is developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Geothermal Rising, formerly Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), with support from the Geothermal Technologies Office of the US Department of Energy

The report aims to provide policymakers, regulators, developers, researchers, engineers, financiers and other geothermal stakeholders with up-to-date information and data reflecting the markets, technologies and trends in geothermal power generation and district heating in 2019 the United States

Analysis of the current state of the US Geothermal market and industry for power generation and district heating sectors will be presented, taking into account the development of energy projects.In addition, the report will assess the impact of state and federal policy, present current research on geothermal development, and offer a future perspective for the US geothermal market and industry

These first results show the interesting development of geothermal energy production capacity in the US, in particular in light of the various figures presented by various groups (including ThinkGeoEnergy)

According to shared data, geothermal capacity and production in the United States has increased little since the last national report released by the Geothermal Energy Association in 2016

The current nominal capacity of 3673 MW is slightly higher than the 3627 MW declared by GEA for 2015 [ThinkGeoEnergy has since added an additional 22 MW, bringing the current ‘nominal’ installed capacity to 3695 MW]

« … winter net capacity has remained relatively stable during this period, while summer net capacity has declined steadily Utility-scale geothermal power generation shows a similar trend. In this comparison, actual production was divided by the total number of hours per year to create an « average net production » capacity (Pettitt et al. 2020) The average net generating capacity calculated from the actual generation reported by the EIA for 2018 (the most recent data available at the time of publication) is 1,823 MW, which is slightly higher than the 1,817 MW calculated for 2015 In addition, 2018 electricity production is lower than the 1917 MW calculated for 1990, the first year the EIA released this data Pettitt et al. (2020) examine in more detail measures of capacity versus production using EIA data going back to 2007 « 

The report gives an excellent overview of the development of geothermal power generation capacity from 1970 to today

The first results also share details on the current age of the geothermal power plant fleet, highlighting that 64% of all plants are over 30 years old.By comparing the number of plants and the capacity, it is evident that the factories got smaller in size with older factories

An interesting picture is also provided by looking at the type of installation technology While the technology of single flash power plants stagnated at around 1500MW in capacity and actually went down a bit, the dual flash also remained relatively stable The trend is clearly towards the use of binary cycle technology, « all geothermal capacity additions from 2000 to 2020 having been binary plants, with the exception of a triple flash plant added in 2011 »

As the report describes, smaller binary power plants and the advanced age of the geothermal fleet have practically seen stagnation in geothermal growth in the US « … Virtually all of the news capacity gains Binary factories were offset by a decrease in the capacity of the old steam and flash factories

Looking at the projects in development, the picture looks relatively week for much more growth in US In GEA’s last report in 2016, there were 77 projects in development In 2019, the number fell to 58, of which only 5 are in advanced stages of development / construction defined as Phase 4 by the report

The future outlook for the sector given in the report is somewhat more optimistic There seems to be reason to expect further growth in capacity with nine new geothermal power purchase agreements signed since late 2019 Those signed are in Utah, Hawaii and Alaska, as well as six in California Among these PPAs, there are two for the first geothermal power plants to be built in California in a decade

View this initial report via the link below We expect a more detailed report when the final report is released

Geothermal, Geothermal, Ground Source Heat Pump Report

World News – GB – NREL / Geothermal Rising Share First Results of 2020 US Geothermal Market Report


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