Investment news on solar and wind are plentiful but not much on geothermal projects. Still, compared to sporadic energy capacity of wind and solar (estimated around 20-35%), geothermal energy is continuous with more than 70% capacity factor.
So what drags the development of this huge sources of energy coming from the center of the earth?
According to Frost & Sullivan’s new study, the high cost of setting up and drilling the hot water from under the surface of the earth is one major impediment. Global energy use from geothermal sources today only amounts to less than 1%.
Costs are dropping, however, and is expected to fall to EUR 40 – 100 ($62-156) per megawatt hour in 2010 and EUR 40 – 80/MWh in 2020, compared to 50 – 150 euros/MWh seen in 2005, according to the consulting firm.