Geothermal power

Geothermal power generation is a well-established and relatively mature form of commercial renewable energy. One of its important characteristics is a high load factor, which means that each MW of capacity produces significantly more electricity during a year than a MW of wind or solar capacity

Geothermal capacity grew by 4% (503 MW) in 2015, to reach 13 GW. The largest additions to capacity were in Turkey (220 MW) and Kenya (155 MW). The US has the largest geothermal capacity with 3.6 GW (28% of the world total), followed by the Philippines (1.9 GW), Indonesia (1.4 GW) and New Zealand (1.0 GW).

Geothermal power runs at a much higher load factor than wind or solar (its source is continuous rather than intermittent), so geothermal produces significantly more electricity per MW of capacity. However, the geological conditions required for geothermal power mean that development has been concentrated in a relatively small number of countries.

Geothermal power generation grew by 7% in 2015. Overall the geothermal share of global power generation remains very small (0.3%), but in certain countries it plays a significant role, e.g. Kenya (48% of power), Iceland (27%), El Salvador (26%), and New Zealand (18%).

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