Survey of Energy Resources Interim Update 2009
The world has a huge geothermal resource that can be, and in many instances is, utilised for direct use, but there are just 24 countries which experience temperatures high enough for the generation of electricity. Of these 24, just 3 saw a very significant increase in capacity between 2005 and 2007.
The USA led with an estimated increase of nearly 375 MWe, but a proportion of the country's capacity is considered to be on standby. Iceland more than doubled its installed capacity between 2005 and 2007 and although the country already uses both its geothermal and hydro resource to a very large degree, government policy is set to expand renewable energy usage still further, as witnessed by the Iceland Deep Drilling Project. Indonesia, now a net oil importer, has turned to its enormous geothermal resource to provide a source for electricity generation. The country saw an increase of 25% in capacity between 2005 and 2007 and there are many projects either under construction or planned.
Australia, which at the present time has a negligible amount of geothermally-derived electricity generation, is currently undertaking an assessment of its vast hot-rock resources.