GEOTHERMAL ENERGY: ELECTRICITY
Geothermal energy* is composed of two sectors: heat production and electricity generation.
In absolute numbers, the USA leads the statistics for geothermal electricity generation with 15.5 TWh. However, relative to the electricity requirements of the country, the proportion of electricity generated from geothermal energy represents a mere 0.4%.
In 1998, of the total electricity produced from renewables only 1.6% came from geothermal. Nevertheless, geothermal power plays a fairly significant role in the energy balance of some areas:
- in 2001, the electric energy produced from geothermal resources represented 27% of the total electricity generated in the Philippines, 16% in Iceland, 12.4% in Kenya, 11.4% in Costa Rica, and 4.3% in El Salvador.
- Until 2003, geothermal electricity generation in the EU was restricted to Italy. In 2000, electricity generation there was 4.7 TWh, covering around 1.5% of electricity used.
- 2000 – 2010: growth in electricity generation is expected to be around 45%, largely because there are many suitable resources in developing countries, whose demand for electricity is increasing.
* Energy from heat stored in rock by the natural heat flow of the Earth.