After very high growth in the 1980s, geothermal electricity production has slowed in the mid- and late-1990s. While Japanese, Indonesian and Philippine geothermal growth has remained high as a consequence of supportive government policies, geothermal electricity production has been flat or reduced in much of Europe and North America. Low prices for coal and natural gas, combined with deregulation, means that in much of the world electricity from new fuel-burning electricity plants can be provided at half the cost of new geothermal electricity. Cost-cutting must be pursued, but is unlikely to close the price gap by itself. Geothermal production is widely perceived as being environmentally clean, but this is not unambiguously true, and requires reinjection to be fully realized. Strategies for monetizing the environmental advantages of geothermal, including the carbon tax, are discussed.
Geothermics – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1999
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