Value of global geothermal services; Geothermal and CO2 storage; Apple facilities use geothermal

Global geothermal installation and services combined totaled ~US$2.815 billion in 2010; Geothermal technology has potential for CO2 storage combination; Apple facilities are running on geothermal energy.


Global Geothermal Energy Installation and O&M Services Combined Totaled ~US$2.815 Billion in 2010
Geothermal Technology has Potential for CO2 Storage Combination
Apple Facilities Use Geothermal Energy

Global Geothermal Energy Installation and O&M Services Combined Totaled ~US$2.815 Billion in 2010
The U.S. International Trade Commission found that U.S. and global renewable energy services are growing at a rapid pace, and that global geothermal energy installation services and O&M services totaled a combined ~US$2.815 billion in 2010, in a recent publication: “Renewable Energy and Related Services: Recent Developments” (Usitc.gov, PDF) (see also 4-traders.com). Among its key findings the report also noted that the U.S., Europe, and Asia (particularly China) are consistently among the largest markets for renewable energy services. Of geothermal energy, the report states (p. 5-25):

“The United States is the world leader in geothermal electricity production and installed geothermal power capacity. Geothermal energy is an important source of U.S. renewable energy in the western United States, where there is a concentration of geothermal resources. However, geothermal energy production is limited by several factors, including geography, lack of access to transmission lines, and the relatively high development and capital costs associated with significant exploration and production risks. Indeed, geothermal power’s installed costs are among the highest of all renewables. Government policies have been key in helping defray some of these costs and facilitating the development of geothermal energy projects.

“International demand for geothermal energy continues to grow at a healthy pace, creating a significant opportunity for U.S. suppliers of geothermal equipment and services. Indeed, the pace of investment growth in the global geothermal energy sector has been strong over the last five years. Emerging markets and developing countries represent most of the untapped growth potential. Given the highly competitive U.S. geothermal market, it is not surprising to find evidence of U.S. geothermal services companies expanding their operations to international markets. More U.S. companies may follow suit, especially to high-potential and low-barrier countries.”

Geothermal Technology has Potential for CO2 Storage Combination
An article on Scientific American explores the economic potential of using CO2 storage in conjunction with geothermal energy and methane for fuel. A closed-loop system would inject CO2 into hot geothermal brine, provide geothermal and methane for fuel, and would inject the CO2 brine back into storage. The article notes the potential for this type of application along the U.S. Gulf Coast: “Because of a special geologic situation there, a huge amount of CO2 could be stored several kilometers underground in hot, salty fluid called brine, and the storage procedure itself would produce a vast amount of methane for fuel, as well as usable heat.”

Apple Facilities Use Geothermal Energy
Apple facilities are running on geothermal energy. An article on Macrumors.com provides the major company’s geothermal and other renewable energy statistics: “Earlier this year, Apple said its data centers were running on 100 percent renewable energy — solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power — while the company’s corporate facilities are running on 75 percent renewable, up from 35 percent two years ago.”

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