Major players in the geothermal electricity market are Calpine Corp, Comision Federal de, Energy Development Corp., Electricadad (CFE) Enel SpA, Chevron Corporation, Comision Federal De Electricadad (CFE), Enel SPA., U.S. Geothermal Inc., and KenGen, Contact Energy.
The global geothermal electricity market is expected to grow from $3.64 in billion 2020 to $3.8 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4%. The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $4.85 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 6%.
The geothermal electric power generation market consists of sales of geothermal electric power and related services. Geothermal energy is derived using the earth’s internal heat energy to generate steam through a series of wells and is fed to the power plant to generate electricity.
The geothermal electric power generation market covered in this report is segmented by type into back pressure, binary, double flash, dry steam, single flash, and triple flash. It is also segmented by end-user into dry steam power stations, flash steam power stations and binary cycle power station.
In 2018, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., a North America based operator of run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind energy, and solar farm, acquired Alterra Power Corp.for $1.1 billion. Through the acquisition Innergex Renewable Energy Inc aims to expand its presence in the USA, Canada, Latin America and Europe markets. The acquisition increases Innergex’s generation capacity to 1,609 MW (gross 2,896 MW). Alterra Power Corp. is a Canada based renewable power generation company that develops, owns and operates hydroelectric, wind, solar energy and geothermal projects.
The environmental consequences caused by drilling earth’s surface for geothermal electric power generation restricts the growth of geothermal electric power generation market.Geothermal system involves forcing the pathways for earth’s trapped heat to reach the surface to generate power and creates fractures on the earth’s surface.
The construction of a geo thermal electric power plant makes the surface uneven and more vulnerable to earthquakes.Other concerns regarding geothermal electric power generation includes the potential for surface instability, and sudden sulphur dioxide and silica emissions.
For instance, in 2018 an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 reported, in Pohang, South Korea, injured dozens and forced more than 1,700 of the city’s residents into emergency housing .The earthquake was directly linked to the increased geothermal electric power generation in the area using enhanced geothermal system(EGS). It involved drilling deep into the earth and removing water and steam that triggered small earthquakes. The increased risk of earthquakes and other environment related concerns hampers the growth of geothermal electric power generation market.
The companies in geothermal electric power generation market are investing in new technologies to make geothermal energy easily accessible to generate electricity and for other heating purposes.The large amount of geothermal energy is extracted only from places where it is easy to access very hot water.
However, in countries like the UK and France, the availability of such hot water or hot water steam is very less as compared to places with volcanoes, such as Iceland and Indonesia.Following which companies are investing towards new approaches to make geothermal energy easily extractable and available.
For instance, Climeon, a Sweden based company, invented technology that operates in temperatures between 70°C-120°C and uses the temperature differences between hot and cold water to produce electricity. The method, unlike solar and wind power, is continuously available and is not affected by the weather.
The geothermal electric power generation market is being financially supported by governments globally.The government provides grants and other support to stimulate sustainable form of energy.
For instance, in 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its contribution of $2 million in Geothermica to support the advance geothermal research and development. Geothermica is a transnational consortium that combines financial resources and research expertise to promote and support novel concepts, uses of geothermal energy in countries over EU (European Union). Formation of such consortium coupled with financial support by the government agencies promotes the growth of geothermal electric power market.