Geothermal Energy Development in Canada - Country Update

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Conference Paper: Geothermal Energy Development in Canada - Country Update

Canada has maintained a position of significance as a fallow frontier for the development of geothermal energy, particularly in the field of high-temperature hydrothermal resources. Although the high temperature resource is geographically restricted to the Province of British Columbia (BC), Alberta, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories, as much as 5,000 MWe of economically feasible geothermal potential is believed to exist in this region. However, policy obstacles still exist which prevent extensive development of Western Canada's high-temperature geothermal resources for electrical power generation. The cumulative Canadian geothermal resource remains poorly quantified due to a 25 year hiatus in Federal government funding of geothermal science. Through commercial avenues, approximately 100MW of geothermal power potential has been identified as of 2009, although there is still no geothermal power in Canada's electrical grid. As an under-explored geothermal resource, Canadian geothermal projects will represent a pertinent frontier for commercial development in the near future. The corporate and public awareness of geothermal technologies has grown recently through an increased media focus, and a strengthening support for carbon-friendly lifestyle choices. Currently, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is leading 33 government policy projects at the Federal and Provincial levels to establish a foundation for the imminent development of geothermal electrical projects. In the Western Canadian geothermal corridor, most of the local power is generated hydroelectrically, although neighbouring export markets still generate a significant amount of power from fossil fuels. As the effect of recent carbon taxes permeate electricity markets, new geothermal projects will be well positioned to fill the vacuum with clean and reliable power.

Alison Thompson

GRC Annual Meeting; Sacramento, CA; 2010/10/24

Geothermal Resources Council, 2010

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Internet link for Geothermal Energy Development in Canada - Country Update

Alison Thompson. 2010. Geothermal Energy Development in Canada - Country Update. In: GRC Transactions. GRC Annual Meeting; 2010/10/24; Sacramento, CA. Davis, CA: Geothermal Resources Council; p. 147-150