The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has announced that the global geothermal power market is expanding at a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5%.
According to the GEA's '2014 Annual US & Global Geothermal Power Production Report', around 700 projects are currently under development in 76 countries.
During 2013, the international market added 530MW of new geothermal capacity.
The US contributed 85MW new geothermal capacity to the global market in 2013, bringing its total up to 3,442MW, according to the GEA report.
The nation added new projects in Utah, Nevada, California and New Mexico
Growth rate in the US was flat due to policy barriers, gridlock at the federal level, low natural gas prices and inadequate transmission infrastructure, according to the report.
GEA executive director Karl Gawell said, "While there was a modest downturn in capacity additions, the Industry Update also underscores the tremendous untapped potential for geothermal energy."
Geothermal industry was working on 977MW of new capacity (planned capacity additions) at sites that hold over 3,092MW of power potential in eight western states.
GEA industry analyst Ben Matek said, "The geothermal resource base is still largely untapped. With new initiatives in Nevada, California and Oregon moving to recognise the values of geothermal power, we are optimistic that state policies could spark another period of growth in geothermal power over the next decade."
The report states that significant geothermal development growth is expected globally over the next few years.
Kenya and Ethiopia are building power plants with over 100MW of capacity.
According to the GEA, South American nations like Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Honduras have significant potential, but are in the early stages of identifying their resources.
The GEA estimates that Chile is actively developing 50 projects and prospects, while Indonesia has 4,400MW of planned capacity additions in the pipeline.
Image: GEA has reported substantial growth in global geothermal markets. Photo courtesy of BusinessWire.