Iceland has been a long standing geothermal superpower since the 1970’s. In that time, Iceland has evolved and expanded their geothermal applications and now set the world example for how to efficiently and dynamically use geothermal resources. From large scale power production to greenhouses surrounding Reykjavik, the range of applications leaves nothing to waste.
Upon returning from the International Geothermal Conference in Iceland, Canadians who took part in the trip left asking why Canada has not made the same strides in shifting our energy policies towards geothermal energy. With a large amount of readily available resources and a well equipped workforce, it seems like it may be time that Canada takes an example from Iceland and the 24 other countries around the world already using using geothermal energy production. At the very least Canada should be exploring geothermal options to co-produce or utilize the heat from the 400,000+ orphan oil/gas wells that are already suitable for secondary geothermal application.
To read Hamish Stewart's full article from the National Observer click here
Alberta has been the energy powerhouse in Canada for decades, but after the significant drop in oil prices, 100,000 out of work, and devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, can it continue to be so in an economy that is carbon-constrained? With considerable geothermal energy potential in Alberta, and 400 000+ existing wells throughout the province, development of geothermal resources would help accelerate Canada into a sustainable energy future. Around the world places such as Nevada, Iceland and New Zealand are already well established in developing innovative and renewable projects that require no dams, emissions or risky new technology. Alberta has the potential to continue to be the energy powerhouse in Canada but Albertans and policy-makers need to recognize that the future will not look like the past.
To check out the full article from The Tyee click here
As coal-fired electric power is phased out in Alberta, geothermal-generated electricity could be the answer. Geothermal research and the development of facilities in many towns and cities across Alberta could lead to an increase in power production and a provide a boost to the economy. Currently there are no commercial geothermal power plants operating in Alberta but the technology it takes to run a geothermal facility is directly transferable to the technologies already used by oil and gas companies. Moving forward, Alberta needs renewable energy in its portfolio, and geothermal resource development does appear to be a very favourable avenue.
To check out the full article from CBC news click here
DeSmog Canada - This is Geothermal
Carol Linnitt from DeSmog Canada has produced a great video showcasing Iceland’s impressive and innovative use of geothermal resources during the annual Iceland Geothermal Conference in Reykjavik. DeSmog provides an exciting look into what the future holds for geothermal energy production in Canada by showcasing the outstanding capacity of the Hellisheidi power plant, which has an installed capacity of approx. 300 MWe and 150MWth.
The video also includes interviews with the Geological Survey of Canada's (GSC) Steven Grasby, one of the leading researchers of geothermal energy in Canada, and CanGEA’s very own Alison Thompson commenting on the enormous potential and added value of geothermal energy in Canada across a whole spectrum of electrical and thermal applications.
To cap off the video is an interview with a local farmer who has for generations been using a geothermal conduit located in the core of the city to heat greenhouses to provide fresh produce all year round.
To check out the video for yourself click here.
Decentrailised Energy Canada has just added a new section to their site which provides resources from CanGEA and the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition focused on Earth Energy Resources.
To find out more about Earth Energy Resources from Decentrailised Energy Canada click here.
Check out Decentralised Energy Canada's video about redirecting petroleum industry's technology and resources here.
Greenpeace reports that geothermal power can create 1,300 jobs in Alberta. CanGEA agrees and would like to draw attention to renewable heat, which can create 4 times as many jobs as geothermal power production. Geothermal energy is heat, power, and economic growth potential.
Greenpeace recently release a report entitled “100,000+ Jobs: Getting Albertans back to work by building a low-carbon future” which notes that modest funding from the provincial and federal governments directed into renewable electricity and other green initiatives could create tens of thousands of new jobs. CanGEA agrees with most of the reports findings and would like to thank the authors for explicitly including geothermal electricity in their report. The authors wrote that geothermal electricity facilities could create 1,300 new jobs but CanGEA believes that this is a very low estimate as the value does not include the potential for job creation from renewable heat.
The 2004 U.S. department of energy (DOES) report “Buried Treasure: The Environmental, Economic, and Employment Benefits of Geothermal Energy” found that
“for every MW of geothermal power plant construction, 26 direct, indirect, and induced jobs are created”.
The DOE report goes on to show how 5.7 jobs/MW are created for the construction and operations of a power plant and 20.3 jobs/MW are created by the heat supply chain. It is heat where the bulk of geothermal jobs are. Furthermore, a power plant isn’t required to create hundreds of jobs from geothermal resource development. An excellent Canadian example is located in Moosejaw Saskatchewan. The “Temple Gardens Mineral Spa” employs 200 people from a direct use geothermal well; there is no power generation. So despite representing a possible employer, such a business would not be captured in the Greenpeace report’s estimate. CanGEA thanks the authors for including geothermal but the number of jobs possible could easily be 4 times higher, 6,000 instead of 1,300, with the recognition of renewable heat as a valuable resource.
CanGEA has one other concern with the report: the median life cycle emissions for geothermal are a little too high for Alberta. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which is the source of Greenpeace’s numbers, correctly uses facility construction with the cement and steel as input factors. In Alberta though, since most of it’s geothermal potential is in co-produced fluids from existing oil and gas wells, the steel and cement greenhouse emissions costs have largely already been paid as the infrastructure is already in the ground. The actual amount of new emissions that a geothermal heat or power facility would create is likely much lower than the reported value of 38 g CO2/kwh.
That said the report highlights the potential for green infrastructure to revitalize the Albertan economy and in this CanGEA is in full agreement with the report’s authors.
If you have any questions about this, please contact Alex Kent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CanGEA and the Government of Yukon released the Yukon Geothermal Opportunities and Applications Report today.
This report provides information on the economic, social and environmental feasibility of using geothermal energy for heat and power generation.
The geothermal potential of the Yukon implies more than 1,700 MW of indicated resources at a depth of less than 5,000 metres (using a 5% recovery factor). This number rises to approximately 5,000 MW when inferred resources are considered. Approximately 100 MW of low-hanging-fruit resources are available at a depth of less than 2,000 metres.
The report also provides detailed information about 17 Yukon communities and their demographics, infrastructure and geothermal potential. Suitable geothermal direct use applications are discussed and valuable information for community leaders and decision makers is shared.
Additionally, CanGEA released the resource estimate maps separately.
Geothermal energy has the potential to create valuable opportunities for the population of the Yukon and can help to reduce high electricity and heating costs, which are prevalent in remote communities in the Canadian North. Geothermal energy can help fostering energy security, economic growth and sustainable development in one of Canada’s most pristine environments.
You can find the report here.
You can find CanGEA's official publication statement here.
You can find the government's press release here.
Carol Linnitt, a journalist from DeSmog Canada, joined CanGEA and its members for the Iceland Market Visit this week. You can read her first article about this event here. The article features interviews with Alison Thompson (CanGEA), Stephen Grasby (NRCan) and Ben Lee (Raven Thermal Systems).
“We have enormous potential for geothermal energy in Canada” Stephen Grasby
“The United States is the number one producer of geothermal energy in the world. Mexico is number four, I want to see Canada up in the top five.” Alison Thompson
“I had a friend go up to the Northwest Territories and pay $16 for a single red pepper. My question is how can we leverage our geothermal resources to address our concerns about food security up north, particularly for First Nations?” Ben Lee
CanGEA's chair, Alison Thompson, has been invited to join Alberta Innovates' board of directors.
The goal of Alberta Innovates is to support the province's projects on economic development and diversification, healthy communities and families, environment and resource stewardship, and job creation.
You can find out more about Alberta Innovates here.
The Association of Power Producers of Ontario (APPrO) has been in touch with CanGEA and recently featured an article about geothermal energy in their monthly magazine IPPSO FACTO. The article covers the geothermal basics, provides details about different geothermal uses and discusses CanGEA's target of 5,000 MW of installed capacity in geothermal power plants in Canada by 2025. You can read the full article here.