Geothermal 2014 Outlook:
As US Market Slows, A
Global Focus Grows
While the US continues to sufer from political
gridlock, the geothermal market continues its shift
to that vast potential of developing nations.
MEG CICHON, Associate Editor
Following another year of modest growth, the geothermal
industry will continue to fght the good fght in 2014 by focusing
on key issues that have hindered its massive global potential.
While the U.S. geothermal market still seems to be in a
slump, the global market is expected to bring close to 1,000
megawatts (MW) of geothermal online each year for the next
six to seven years, according to Karl Gawell of the Geothermal
Energy Association. Some of these regions, such as the Carib-
bean, are breaking ground on their frst geothermal projects.
“Years ago we were seeing people just beginning to look for
geothermal resources in these areas. Now we are seeing people
drill and move forward with projects,” said Gawell. “So we can
look forward and see projects that are in progress — they are
no longer what we call prospects.”
Although the international market is still heating up, and
only getting hotter, industry experts caution that it holds some
major roadblocks that may prevent major growth for the fors-
U.S. Market: Same Old Story
“I’m almost getting tired of having to describe Washington as
‘stuck in gridlock,’” said Gawell.
Indeed, U.S. Congress has failed to create major
waves in the energy sector for some time, and is mostly focused on short-term tax incentive extensions. Geothermal experts see this approach as a band aid on an
industry longing for a long-term plan. “What we need is