Study outlines geothermal future in Australia

24 August 2008 | 04:27 Code : 17931 Geoscience events
The Australian Geothermal Energy Association (AGEA) estimates that the Australian....

The Australian Geothermal Energy Association (AGEA) estimates that the Australian geothermal energy industry can be expected to provide up to 2,200 MW of baseload capacity by 2020 into Australia’s electricity market based on current government policy settings.This capacity could represent up to 40 percent of the Australian federal government’s renewable energy target of 45,000 GWh, the equivalent of the output of around 6,000 MW of wind farms.An estimated A$12 billion (US$10.5 billion) would be invested to develop 2,000 MW of installed capacity. The cost of generating electricity from geothermal resources is expected to move rapidly down the cost curve through the pilot, demonstration and commercialization stages to reach economies of scale by 2020.Most of the capacity is expected to come from developments in South Australia, with other states increasing their contribution toward the end of the 2020 period.AGEA’s estimate comes from a report it commissioned from economic modelling firm McLennan Magasanik Associates. AGEA released the findings at the 2008 Australia Geothermal Energy Conference in Melbourne this week."This report highlights that the Australian geothermal energy industry has a potentially significant contribution to solving Australia’s longterm climate change challenges," said AGEA Chairman Gerry Grove White.AGEA will undertake further work on the benefits of accelerating the development of geothermal energy and the associated economic, social and environmental impacts and export potential, which will be undertaken in consultation with key government policy reform processes

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