Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Geothermal - Electricity Generation
The top fourteen countries with the highest percentage share of geothermal in their national electricity production are shown in Fig. 11-6 . Special attention is drawn to the fact that El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua are among the six top countries, and Guatemala is in eleventh place. Central America is one of the world´s richest regions in geothermal resources. According to data provided for the World Geothermal Congress in 2005 (Bertani, 2005) geothermal power provides about 12% of the total electricity generation of the four countries. The geothermal potential for electricity generation in Central America has been estimated to be some 4 000 MWe (Lippmann, 2002). Only a small portion of the geothermal resources in the region has been harnessed so far (under 500 MWe) and the electricity generated in the geothermal fields is, in all cases, replacing that generated by imported oil.
This clearly demonstrates how significant geothermal energy can be in the electricity production of countries and regions rich in high-temperature fields that are associated with volcanic activity. Kenya is the first country in Africa to utilise its rich geothermal resource and can, in the foreseeable future, produce most of its electricity from hydro and geothermal. Several other countries in the East African Rift Valley can follow suit. Indonesia is probably the world´s richest country in geothermal resources and can in the future replace a considerable part of its fossil-fuelled electricity by geothermal.