Large-Scale Enhanced Geothermal System Trial Successful, Top 10 Geothermal Countries 2021, Sept. 16th is Ozone Day!

by | Sep 15, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Large-scale Enhanced Geothermal System trial successful, plus the top 10 geothermal countries 2021, and Sept. 16th is Ozone Day!



A federally backed effort to advance enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technologies in Utah marked a significant milestone with successful completion of its first large-scale 10-day stimulation in a deep-deviated well.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), which is sited near the town of Milford on the western flank of the Mineral Mountains, recently confirmed the successful completion of the three-stage hydraulic stimulation of its first highly deviated injection. “This is a key milestone in learning how to create fully human-made geothermal reservoirs that can be used to generate electricity anywhere,” said the DOE’s GTO, Geothermal Technologies Office.

The $220 million Utah FORGE—GTO’s largest funding initiative—is a 2015-opened dedicated underground field laboratory. The lab is designed for the development, testing, and acceleration of breakthroughs in enhanced geothermal system technologies.

EGS is an advanced geothermal process that involves drilling deep wells underground in hot dry rock, creating fractures to develop reservoirs, and then circulating water through the wells and reservoirs to heat the water using that underground heat. Unlike classic hydro-geothermal systems, EGS technologies enable the extraction of energy from dry rocks that do not contain water or contain water in small amounts.

Why do Enhanced Geothermal System technologies matter to us?

The Earth is a huge thermal battery with vast geothermal resources and heat that is continuously generated by decay of radioactive elements. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 5 TW (terrawatt) of underground heat resources exist in the U.S.  And, the Western U.S. alone has a potential 518 GW of EGS resources—about half of the current installed electric power generating capacity in the entire U.S.

DEEPER DIVE: USGS, ThinkGeoEnergy How EGS Works



Here’s a shocker. The US is the leading Geothermal producer on the planet! Here the Top 10 geothermal countries year-end 2021:

  1. United States* – 3,722 MW – additional 24.8 MW were added in 2021
  2. Indonesia – 2,276 MW – 143 MW were added in 2021 with the start of the 45 MW Sorik Marapi Unit 2 and the 98 MW Rantau Dedap plants.
  3. Philippines – 1,918 MW – no change reported
  4. Turkey – 1,710 MW – 22 MW were added in 2021 (actually the number is 30 MW with the Effeler 8 third unit, yet we had to correct some number for 2020)
  5. New Zealand – 1,037 MW – the 32 MW of the Ngawha expansion project were added in early 2021
  6. Mexico – 962.7 MW – no change
  7. Italy – 944 MW – no change
  8. Kenya – 861 MW – no change, while the 83.3 MW Olkaria I Unit 6 was in final tests, yet no official start of commercial operations reported yet
  9. Iceland – 754 MW – a small 300 kW unit was added and construction started on a 30 MW expansion at the Reykjanes plant
  10. Japan – 603 MW – continued small-scale development, yet no reported additions

Overall, global geothermal power generation capacity stood at 15,854 MW at the year-end 2021. That’s an increase of 246 MW over 2020, despite the challenges of the pandemic new capacity was added in several countries. Including Colombia (small scale ORC units from co-produced oil) and Taiwan (reestablishing power generation at Qingshui with a 4.2 MW plant) joining the ranks of countries with operating geothermal power generation capacity.

DEEPER DIVE: ThinkGeoEnergy, Geothermal Power



Tomorrow is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, AKA Ozone Day. It’s  celebrated every year on September 16. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly. This designation had been made on December 19, 2000, in commemoration of the date, in 1987, on which nations signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The closure of the hole in the ozone layer was observed 30 years after the protocol was signed. 

Why does Ozone Day matter to us? Due to the nature of the gases responsible for ozone depletion their chemical effects are expected to continue for between 50 and 100 years. IOW, Never forget. Always remember.

DEEPER DIVE: Ozone Day, Ozone Layer Depletion