Geothermal Outlook 2015:
International Market Ripe with
Opportunity as US Market Withers
Money is fowing
into the developing
geothermal markets, but
the U.S. market is still
struggling with political
and fnancial barriers.
MEG CICHON, Associate Editor
While it is diffcult to discuss
the geothermal industry in
just one-year increments,
it seems as though 2015 is
set to have some notable
In 2014, the global market didn’t quite hit 1,000 megawatts
(MW) of new capacity as predicted a year prior, but it did ring
in a respectable 600 MW, a number that should hold steady or
rise for the next three to four years, according to Ben Matek,
analyst at the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA).
A 2014 prediction that did live up to expectations was the
sluggish U.S. market — it only represented a mere three to
four megawatts of capacity last year, and Matek doesn’t see
an uptick any time soon without some serious policy changes. In stark contrast, several international markets are really
starting to pick up speed, most notably in East Africa, Turkey, Central America and the Asia-Pacifc.
“In short,” said GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell, “the
geothermal industry is relying on the global market for the
years immediately ahead, and the U.S. market will rebound
as policy straightens out.”
The receding Salton Sea in Imperial Valley, California. Credit: Shutterstock.