(SeeNews) - Sep 4, 2013 - The global operating geothermal power capacity may reach 12,000 MW by the end of this year as that source of energy is gaining popularity in 70 countries and territories, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA).
According to GEA’s recently released 2013 Geothermal Power: International Market Overview, 11,766 MW of geothermal power plants are currently in the early development stage or under construction around the globe. What’s more, developers are involved in the exploration and assessment of 27,000 MW of geothermal resource.
In the next five years, GEA expects to see the first geothermal power stations in Uganda, France, Tanzania, Chile and Rwanda go on stream. Established markets such as Kenya, Japan and Indonesia are also gaining speed, though the sector there still faces challenges. "There are so many projects moving forward that just a year or two ago were ideas on paper. This demonstrates how quickly the geothermal industry is growing internationally," said the report’s author Ben Matek.
GEA describes Kenya as one of the fastest expanding geothermal markets. The country has 1,000 MW under development, including 296 MW under physical construction. The organisation believes that Kenya will become the centre of geothermal technology in Africa and turn into the global leader in terms of geothermal capacity additions over the next decade if existing projects are finalised on schedule.
Another important market -- Indonesia, can hit 2,000 MW of geothermal capacity by 2018 if projects proceed as planned. There are 4,100 MW of projects in the development pipeline and 860 MW under construction in Indonesia now.