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Geological Survey of Canada quotes “enormous geothermal energy resources”


July 8, 2011
By Administrator

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July 8, 2011, Calgary – The Geological Survey of Canada
and a team of leading scientists in the field of geothermal energy released a report in June detailing the geothermal energy resource potential
for geothermal energy in Canada.

The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) congratulates the
Geological Survey of Canada and the team that worked on the report. The
report confirms that "geothermal energy, as a renewable energy source,
not only provides a clean and renewable option for electricity
generation around the clock, but also efficient and competitive heating
options for Canadians all over Canada", said Alexander Richter,
Director of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association.

In its key findings, the report highlights "enormous geothermal energy
resources that could supply the country with a renewable and clean
source of power", and with the high capacity factor makes it a
"particularly attractive as a renewable base load energy supply" for
Canada.

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Other key highlights of the report:

  • Geothermal energy potential is broadly distributed across Canada,
    however, there is only sufficient data to characterize geothermal
    potential for 40 per cent of Canada's landmass.
  • Canada's in-place geothermal power exceeds one million times Canada's
    current electrical consumption, although only a fraction of this can
    likely be produced.
  • Remote northern communities could be the first to benefit from
    geothermal development in Canada.
  • Canada has significant potential for EGS development, as few as 100
    projects could meet a significant fraction of Canada's base load energy
    needs.
  • Research on decreasing installation costs could make further
    exploitation of abundant low- temperature geothermal resources
    feasible.
  • Environmental impacts of geothermal development are relatively minor
    compared to other energy developments, however there are still key
    issues to be addressed.
  • Geothermal installations have the potential to displace other more
    costly and environmentally damaging technologies.
  • Geoscience research and mapping is required to reduce exploration risk
    as well as to support regulatory development in order to attract
    industry investment.

CanGEA sees this report as a confirmation of its own findings that the
expected resource potential of Canada, electricity generated by
geothermal energy could replace approximately 10 nuclear power plants
and provide up to 10% of Canada's current total electricity generation.
It could provide more than 9,000 permanent jobs and approximately
30,000 temporary jobs in manufacturing and construction.

The industry represents a $25 billion market opportunity for companies
wiling to participate in the growth of the industry, despite current
development being scarce and small scale.

Canadian developers, technology and service firms are active globally
and represent a strong share of development activities in the U.S., but
also in South America, Europe, Australasia and elsewhere.

In its recently released "Technology Roadmap for Geothermal Heat and
Power" also released in June, the International Energy Agency (IEA)
highlights as well the "importance of geothermal energy in the global
efforts of reducing carbon emissions, using a sustainable and reliable
source of energy that is available all over of the world, and does not
fluctuate with the weather or season", said Nobuoa Tanaka, executive director at the IEA.